The past 10 years has been an exciting time for ROC the Future! In the past 3 years alone, we’ve been building our collective muscle to embrace parent leaders within ROC the Future. The expansion of PECAN began with parent and community input in the spring of 2019 and is now a critical and foundational element to how we do our work.
In the summer of 2020, the racial reckoning experienced across our country in response to execution of George Floyd inspired our resolve to embed a focus on racial equity in our work. We developed a racial equity statement and began using the StriveTogether definition of equity to lift conversations for systems change. We’re now expanding our understanding to embrace equity as a “verb”, and not as a noun or destination. And we continue to evolve.
Our next evolution is happening now by our efforts to center and strengthen our focus and commitment to the Whole Child. We expand our focus from educational outcomes only, to include our shared understanding that a child’s overall well-being is influenced by a wide range of contributing factors and includes their physical and mental health and social and emotional development. This work must happen by centering racial equity and confronting systemic racism, as well as lifting parent voice and parent leadership within our work to get results for our children.
We have several significant opportunities to expand our thinking and doing in this way, not the least of which is selecting a new Executive Director for ROC the Future. A Search Committee has been formed, and plans are underway for the next steps to bring on a new leader for ROC the Future Alliance, one who will work in concert with our evolution to focus on changing systems and aligning resources to support the well-bring of our children.
To mark this critical moment in our history, we will host a two-day ROC the Future Alliance Retreat on April 8th and 13th. This retreat will provide an important opportunity for key thought partners and community leaders within RTFA to come together as a collective to chart the path for our future. As we ground ourselves in systems change work and reinforce our commitment to racial equity and will create a new foundation for our work to support the whole child, cradle-to-career.
Thank you for your commitment to this collective impact work, and we look forward to another decade of supporting Rochester’s youth!
For our Children!