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January 14, 2021

Special Message from our CEO | Do You See His Dream?

In 2020, our nation shifted under the weight of a long-standing public health crisis that rose through the COVID-19 pandemic, racial injustice, climate disasters, and a state of the union leaving too many children and families grasping for basic needs.  

And just when we hoped to slam the book shut on 2020, January 6, 2021 brought insurrection to democracy’s door. 

These disturbing events serve as a Rorschach Test of the United States. When asked, “What do you see?”, there are vastly different views among Americans on if we are shifting towards the country we aspire to be or farther away; about how we got here and where we are headed. 

Nonetheless, one thing is undebatable: racism and socio-economic inequities are on full display.  To anyone who has had the privilege to avoid or deny this, there is no more room for interpretation. We cannot deny cold hard facts about who continues to suffer the most. 

So many have said that this isn’t the America they know. This isn’t us. The past events however bear the question - isn’t it? 

We all watched the violence that ensued on Capitol Hill, leaving national leaders hiding under desks fearing that they would not return to their families. While the environment was novel, the situation is all too familiar. 

How many times have our children had to hide in their classrooms in fear as a school shooting occurred? 

How many times have we offered thoughts and prayers as teachers led kids to safety?  

The news cycle continues….and we await the next inevitable disaster. 

Trauma dating back to America’s founding continues to permeate through every aspect of our lives. As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on and the concept of empathy is set to tragically join millions hanging on life support, when do we say enough is enough?  When do we stop putting our kids through multiple “once-in-a-lifetime” tragedies? 

Despite our trauma, an opportunity for hope is within grasp, presenting itself in the same moment we celebrate an American so diametrically opposed to hate and injustice. We must shake off any numbness or paralysis and demand the beloved country that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. so aptly envisioned in his Dream. A more equitable society – one in which we prioritize community over individualism and empathy over ego. A society that ensures that no individual – and never an innocent child -- be deprived of their basic needs because human decency simply would not tolerate it.   

We must boldly step forward, become unrelenting in alleviating our collective suffering, and work toward a more healthy, equitable future. We must do this for our children.  

At Healthier Generation, we are mystified by the unconscionable events of the past 11 months…and, yet, unwavering in our commitment to realize Dr. King’s Dream.  Our organization will not stop until every mind, every body and every young person is healthy and ready to succeed.  We ask you to join our cause and take action to eradicate the root causes of poor health – those racial and socio-economic inequities that continue to shame us as a nation.   

With your help, the Dream is within reach. I see it. It is a beautiful foundation on which we will build a healthier generation, as well as an America that DOES truly represent the best in all of us. 

Kathy Higgins

Chief Executive Officer
Alliance for a Healthier Generation