Recap: Breaking Barriers. Centering Families. Transforming Systems.
What will it take to help strengthen families and create a more just and equitable future for children and families in Illinois? That’s the question we asked each other when nearly 140 supporters and partners convened on Tuesday, June 14, for Breaking Barriers. Centering Families. Transforming Systems. This special fundraiser happens yearly, aiming to raise awareness about how families of color are disproportionately impacted by policies and systems, and spark public policy changes that will benefit children, families, and communities. In total, we raised more than $350,000 in support of Children’s Home & Aid programs and services.
Donors, partners, and supporters joined us in-person at the Chicago Cultural Center and online virtually via livestream for a thought-provoking conversation guided by award-winning author and journalist, Alex Kotlowitz, whose books such as There Are No Children Here and An American Summer: Love & Death in Chicago showcase the impact of poverty and racism. Former Stockton Mayor and guaranteed income advocate, Michael Tubbs, and our President and CEO, Mike Shaver, rounded out the discussion with their own unique perspectives.
Together, we explored how to disrupt the systemic and multi‐generational cycle of racial, social, and economic inequality that impacts families. A common thread kept surfacing during our time together––we must listen to families if we want to ensure they have the tools and resources they need to THRIVE, not survive. At one point when talking about the change that needs to happen in communities, Alex Kotlowitz asked, “How do we hold institutions and politicians accountable?”
“We need to take some risks––especially at this moment in time.”
~ Alex Kotlowitz, award-winning author and journalist
How do we reimagine a collection of broken systems that have failed families for far too long? “We have to address all the things we are uncomfortable talking about,” says Michael Tubbs. “We can’t have a conversation about poverty without talking about racism. We can’t have a conversation about poverty without talking about sexism. Those two intersect.”
“Dr. King talked about the need for a revolution of values. We went through a pandemic which showed how poverty makes us all sicker. Poverty is what is going to make us stuck.”
~ Michael Tubbs, former mayor of Stockton, California, and current special advisor for economic mobility an opportunity, California
Are You In?
Children’s Home & Aid provides child welfare, counseling and treatment, parenting supports, childcare and early education services to nearly 30,000 children and families statewide each year.
We invite you to take action with us by engaging in advocacy on these issues, attending events, and understanding how you can support children and families in need by volunteering and donating.
“It’s important to understand what works and not just lead with the idea that it sounds intuitively right. It’s going to take more creativity, more collaboration, and a willingness to challenge what’s come before. We have to ask, how are we upsetting the set-up?”
~ Mike Shaver, President and CEO, Children’s Home & Aid
Click here to view a photo gallery from this year’s event.
Thank you to our amazing sponsors!
“Breaking Barriers. Centering Families. Transforming Systems.” was generously supported by Allstate, BMO, CDW, Exelon and ITW, with additional contributions from Aon, Discover Financial Services, J.P. Morgan Chase and People’s Gas.