January 6, 2021 was a very sad day for our country. A mob took over the United States Capitol, inciting violence, causing loss of life, and temporarily halting the counting of the electoral votes – a ritual that speaks to the very heart of our democracy.

These destructive actions don’t reflect the ideals of our country or the good conscience of most Americans committed to creating a more perfect union. Unfortunately, what happened on Wednesday was not simply about an isolated moment but a climate in our country that can continue to sow division and disruption if we choose to not speak to it, confront the challenges we face, and most importantly, hold up the common respect and values we share as a community.

The events of this week are also a stark reminder of why Big Brothers Big Sisters exists; that it’s during our greatest challenges that young people need us most. And that they know there are positive adults and mentors they can talk to and depend on to help them navigate the uncertainties and inequities they encounter in the world.

As mentors, we can take this opportunity to talk with the young people we serve. To encourage them to know that within their world of Big Brothers Big Sisters exists a safe space, where they can honestly express themselves and ask questions about what we are living through and the impact it is having on all of us. Our Bigs provide this safe space for our Littles to process their thoughts and feelings. Our staff are available to provide resources.

How we react to this assault on our democracy can inspire our young people and encourage them to a life of meaningful public service—but it will take all of us as no one organization or one person can do this alone. We need each other more than ever to provide the vital mentoring programs that serve the most vulnerable young people and families in our communities.

Let’s stand together focused on our mentoring mission to shape new generations and inspire the best from our great country and communities for years to come.

We know we are Bigger Together.

Pam Iorio
President and CEO

Artis Stevens
Incoming President and CEO

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