Reflections of Our Luncheon
Exactly two years ago, I joined DC Action for Children leaders in our community to make a difference in the lives our children. DC Action has a rich history of serving as a voice for children and youth who, otherwise, would likely have no voice. I learned so much more during our October luncheon benefit, but most importantly: how in 1992, five amazing and visionary women were drawn together by a common passion to do right by the children of DC.
These women – our Founding Mothers – didn’t have to do anything. However, they chose to get involved in helping DC’s children and youth because they knew it was the right thing to do. They also knew that if they didn’t act, others from within their well-connected worlds might not have been motivated to act, either.
They exhibited true leadership by stepping outside of their own comfort zones – and by asking others to do the same. Without them, we wouldn’t be here today. And DC’s children, youth and families would be much worse off than they are today.
At our luncheon, we heard how Diane Bernstein and Liz Siegel met serendipitously and enlisted their network of friends to create DC Action for Children. As many said, they were a force to reckon with. They showed up at the City Council building and started to advocate on behalf of young children. I learned how our founders left their jobs to form the advocacy organization we know today as DC Action for Children.
It has been a true honor for me to lead DC Action for Children. While we have accomplished much over the last 20 years and we are right to be proud of how we have helped many of our city’s children, we have much more work ahead of us. I continue to be astounded at how the capital city of the world’s richest nation can also be home to some of the country’s poorest families whose children are at significant risk of failing – failing in school, in their careers, and in life.
Strong voices – like those of our Founding Mothers – are the legacy we carry forward as we work to confront the chronic issues affecting many of our youngest citizens. It is our organization’s passion – and we hope it will become yours.