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Statement of Solidarity and Support

Colleagues, friends and supporters

We, like so many across Illinois and the United States are heartbroken over the events that have happened in the last weeks.  We are angry at the incident with Christian Cooper and angry and grieve for the lost lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and many others.  We grieve with their families and with their children. 

These recent tragic events, on top of a pandemic that has resulted in over 100,000 deaths and unemployment at rates not seen since the Great Depression, both hitting communities of color disproportionately, lay bare the deep systematic racism in our country.  

Over half of America’s babies are babies of color.  We want every baby to be loved, nurtured and taught to be empathetic and compassionate to others.  We value, applaud and have great pride in the work that all of you do on behalf of children and families – the home visitors, educators, clinicians, care providers, consultants – who work tirelessly amid these very stressful times to help every baby get the best start in life.  You are also champions and ambassadors of social and economic justice.

If all babies are to have the best start in life, we must all work harder to confront the pervasive structural racism in ourselves, in our organizations and in our society.  Because of our pain, we must continually acknowledge and fight racism because it affects all babies, all families and all of us.  The Illinois Association for Infant Mental Health is committed to do our part in combating pervasive racism and inequality.  We are also committed to support all of you who work unstintingly on behalf of children and families and hope that you are finding care and sense of community during these trying times.  

We are proud and honored to work with you in making the world a better place for babies.  

Please consider joining ILAIMH’s Committee on Diversity and Equity.  Contact Lynette DeDios (DediosLynette@gmail.com) or Michelle Lee-Murrah (mlee9877@gmail.com).