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From the Desk of John Van Cleef, CEO | February 2022

From the Desk of John Van Cleef, CEO | February 2022

The time is always right to do what is right.

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

February 2022 includes two important observances that speak to social action:

It is Black History Month, affording Americans a focused opportunity to recognize the significant contributions Black women and men have made to our country throughout its history – going beyond stories of racism and slavery and spotlighting Black achievement. It also affords Americans an opportunity to reflect on and advance the continued journey toward racial justice.

It is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, drawing attention to the reality that 1 in 3 teens have experienced sexual violence, physical violence or threats of physical harm from a partner; and it draws attention to the fact that we can teach our young people the skills they need to create and maintain healthy relationships.

Each months’ observance carries a different weight of historical context and import. I also think they share an important commonality: the call to action. During these observances, action can be learning more about black history, speaking out when we see or hear instances of racism, developing skills to talk with teens about dating or distributing resources to parents and other educators. One person doing what is right will make a difference within their sphere of influence.