Black History Month – A Message from our CEO

By Gina Fromer
CEO, Children’s Council of San Francisco

Gina: then and now.

February 2021 is a Black History Month like no other!  

As an African American woman, a mother, a grandmother, and an education advocate, I have the opportunity every day – and this month in particular – to share my culture with others. 

Black culture is rich in history, but it’s a history that has often been misinterpreted or left entirely untold.  

Gina grew up SF’s Bayview.

My ancestors came from West Africa and landed in Virginia during the early Colonial Period. Anytime I talk about this with family or friends, a reserve of curiosity awakens within me: a desire to learn more about the myriad of stories about my African ancestry.  

Tracking down my family’s manifestations of resilience, self-determination, and bravery opens my mind to many of the factors that moved us from then to now.

As I reflect on our work at the Children’s Council, I think of the thousands of Black children and parents we serve and support every day – families who have similar stories to my own – and I reaffirm the importance of passing those narratives and testimonies down to future generations.  

Black History Month is a time to reflect, engage, and learn more about the amazing contributions made to this America. I love sharing family stories with my grandchildren, to let them know that they come from strong people. 

Gina and her family.

And so, I’m sending out this humble request: This month, learn new facts about African American historical figures or history and share them with others

Not sure where to start? Check out this great resource from the Library of Congress. It’s a treasure trove of stories, videos, and online events paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society.

Over the past year, with the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and a renewed sense of energy around the pursuit of racial justice and equity in the United States, Black History Month takes on special meaning in 2021.  

At Children’s Council, we know there is still much work to do, but Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is a critical part of our culture. DEI is a key strategy in our #1 Core Focus Area, it’s part of our daily work, our hiring practices, and our public programs.  

I look forward to working with you to make our vision for San Francisco a reality: a city where every child is able to reach their full potential and thrive.  

We are all contributors to this amazing place called Earth, and the sooner we realize how our individual efforts, gifts, and accomplishments help to build the whole, the more capable we will become of inspiring subsequent generations to reach for greater heights.  

Gina Fromer
CEO, Children’s Council of San Francisco

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