Tuesday, Jun. 9th 2020

Justice and Healing

From Wassy Tesfa, Chair, Region 9 Head Start Association

“History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people” Martin Luther King, Jr.

We turn the page of an incredibly old story in America, and once again find ourselves fearful, angry, hurt, confused and protective of the most vulnerable among us – young children! Setting aside our personal agenda, we are called to protect them and be mindful of the exposure they may be experiencing over the past week since the murder of George Floyd. My own 10-year-old nephew, a beautiful black boy summed up best what many might be thinking – “I don’t want to grow up”.

As mothers and fathers, aunts, and uncles, we are struck by the anguish in the eyes of the young. We share their pain and loss of innocence. We must recommit ourselves to end racism and brutality toward black and brown people in our communities at the hands of police and institutionalized racism that gives them permission to do so. We must demand a police and public safety system that protects all of us equally. We know that criminal justice reforms have failed because the hearts of some are filled with fear. But we cannot let those failures destroy our commitment to support children and families who deserve better.

I believe each of us are leaders in this movement. We lead by speaking the truth, by being empathic to the views of others, by listening to people without judgement, by believing in a future that is profoundly better than today and by working each day to strengthen ourselves and those entrusted to our care. I believe it is critical that you play an active part in your own development. Ask questions, explore bias, search for opportunities to grow and stretch in both your personal and professional relationships. 55 years ago, Head Start was conceived as a movement to address inequalities. At the heart of our work will always be our goal to serve those who are most vulnerable. Today, Head Start and Early Head Start are essential elements of the solution.

“I hope we can lean into this moment, but in the spirit of so many lives that are impacted every day, to address the structural racism and institutions that fundamentally have to change.” Gov. Newsom, CA


Wassy Tesfa is the Executive Director of the

Pacific Clinics Head Start and Early Head

Start.  She is the current Chair of the

Region 9 Head Start Association


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The Vision

All children, regardless of their circumstance at birth, deserve a full and prosperous life.

The Mission

  • Support high-impact Head Start programs for children and adults by creating opportunities for collaboration, networking and information sharing.
  • Unite with state and national Head Start organizations to ensure regulatory and budget outcomes that support our work.
  • Champion the message that every child and family who succeeds makes their community a better place.
  • Provide resources to assist our members in compliance and professional development.

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