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United In Motherhood

To our FIT4MOM community and mamahood sisterhood,

Our nation has seen an awakening in recent months due to the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor along with many others. I find myself in an awakening as well.

These last few months have been a hard time. I have taken the time to reflect and feel all the feels. I have realized that my life until now has been seen through stained glasses. I have been given privileges that may have come at a cost to others by an unjust system. So I come to you today with newer glasses, not perfect glasses, but newer. I am committing to you to listen, unlearn, learn, and grow. I do not have all the answers or know exactly what to say but I want you to know that I come from a place of love and empathy. I hope to carry that into my passion for FIT4MOM.

FIT4MOM Grand Rapids has always been a place that every mom is welcome and we will continue on that path. But we will do so without the discomfort or fear silencing us. FIT4MOM has zero-tolerance for racism, discrimination, harassment, or intimidation. We stand in solidarity with the black community. We stand united with all mothers, everywhere.

I have taken steps for us as a Village to reach even broader than we have in Grand Rapids before. The first step is that I have signed the Anti-Racist Small Business Pledge. You will also be seeing some changes in the stories we read and the crafts we have after classes. I am also looking at ways we can be more involved in the communities around us, not just through donations.

FIT4MOM on a national level as taken steps through changes and guidance through its Diversity Committee. The mission statement, vision, and values have already been changed to reflect the changing times.

At FIT4MOM Grand Rapids we will continue to take steps to be the change. We are raising the next generation, a generation that will do better by the examples we set today.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to talk to me. I am continually learning and growing.

Your FIT4MOM Team Leader,

Sarah

If you would like some resources to share with your children, here are some we have collected.

Reading:

-Raising White Kids

-Raising Anti-Racist Kids

-Waking Up White

Educate:

-The Conscious Kid: Parenting and Education through a Critical Race Lens. Follow them on Instagram

- HereWeeRead: Helping parents find diverse books, educational products, and raise curious kids.

- Watch CNN and Sesame Street Town Hall on Racism with your family: Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms takes questions along with CNN's Van Jones and Erica Hill about how to combat racism and shares a message with kids about how to make a change.

Our Village Resources and Organizations:

- Be the Bridge Organization

- We are LIT Book Store

- Treetops Collective- Tall Turf Ministries - Urban League of West Michigan