Reflect | Rebuild | Reimagine - A message from our executive director

Reflect | Rebuild | Reimagine - A message from our executive director

Like many nonprofits, the last few years have marked tremendous transitions within Mockingbird’s structure, staffing, fundraising and communications strategies, and how we come together in community. Mockingbird’s continued role in responding to the twin public health crises of systemic racism and the COVID 19 pandemic is critical in support of youth experiencing the foster care system and homelessness. Compared to society at large, children of color make up a disproportionate share of youth in the child welfare system.

The Mockingbird Society has been a leading champion in advocating for many changes in legislation throughout the years.  And while I’m honored to be a part of that rich legacy, I see how much farther we must go to significantly transform our foster care system and end youth homelessness.

Policy wins are only the first step in transforming these systems. To create lasting change, we must be present at implementation tables—holding politicians and government agencies accountable. We must invest in infrastructure and capacity building to best meet the challenges presented by the pandemic and pervasive systems of inequality. We must be intentional in our outreach to communities disproportionately affected by these systems, like BIPOC and LGBTQI youth. And in our efforts to elevate and empower youth voice, we must equip our staff with the tools, training, and support to create safe spaces for all youth participants.

Visioning for change means leading with the end in mind, so I have marked 2023 as a year of reflection and healing as an organization and community, as a year to rebuild to better position us for the work ahead, and as a year to reimagine what a transformed child welfare system would feel like - and to then lead from that end.  The Mockingbird Society’s next chapter will prioritize advocacy with accountability and an uncompromising commitment to our values that this work can only be done in partnership with communities closest to the issues.

As we move into this new chapter, I ask each of you to join us in partnership by making a meaningful contribution to the Mockingbird Society. Your support is what makes this year of reflecting, rebuilding, and reimagining possible, and your partnership will lay the foundation for the future of our work. 

Please join us on this journey by making a gift to GiveBIG and our ongoing Reflect | Rebuild | Reimagine campaign.

With so much gratitude,

Natalie Lente