Reaction and the call to action from our Iowa AEYC Governing Board Public Policy Chair, Leslie Stonehocker — Jan 8, 2021

Through many years in the field and being the recipient of incredible mentoring affiliated with being involved in Iowa AEYC, I cannot remain silent about the actions that took place in Washington DC today.  Because of my affiliation with this organization, I have had several opportunities to grace our nation’s Capital steps, to walk the halls and tunnels in federal congressional buildings, and to engage in civil discourse with those that align - and don't align - with my own beliefs, hopes, and dreams for our children, families, and the early care and education workforce (afterschool/out-of-school-time and child care workforces included).  This work has been incredibly rewarding, and most times it hasn't been easy to convince most legislators why investing in young children is critically important.  Resiliency has helped push me to continue to speak on behalf of those who can't speak for themselves or haven't felt empowered enough to do so.  We KNOW why children, families, and the early care and education workforce (afterschool and child care workforces included) is vital to our future... and I need your help in communicating these messages.  


Enraged and sickened to my stomach, I feel compelled to respond to today's events in Washington, DC.  During the Black Lives Matter protests I was silent while I spent time (and continue to spend time) reading, learning, reflecting, and challenging my own beliefs and practices.  I have so much to learn, and I am grateful to be a part of a high performing inclusive organization that encourages growth and development.  


I encourage you to consider getting involved in Iowa AEYC's public policy work.  It isn't hard, but it does take guts.  You know your work best.  You know what children and families need and deserve AND you know that the need is not a partisan issue.   You know we've been operating under seriously underfunded budgets for decades.  You know our work is harder now than it ever has been, and frankly, it's never been easy (it's been amazingly rewarding, but I don't recall any of it being easy).  Civil discourse... advocacy... starts with us.  Growing ourselves.  Then we share with those in our inner circles.  Then we spread our wings and share it with others.  I invite you to soar along with me... so many people depend on it!  If you are interested, please comment or leave me a message.  I'd love to participate in this journey alongside you!


Take good care,

Leslie Stonehocker, Iowa AEYC Governing Board- Public Policy Chair