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Remarks of NHSA Executive Director Yasmina Vinci to the Head Start Community

June 4, 2020

"Head Start was born during another era of fighting for equal justice, an era envisioned by its activists to be the end of racism, discrimination, and oppression."

"Unhappily, we have not progressed as far as a nation in the 55 years since as we should have, or as we need to. And now, it is up to us, all of us, to make it happen.

"From its earliest days, Head Start has been rooted in the search for justice, equality, and opportunity. We believe that Black lives matter and we believe that Head Start’s role as a catalyst for hope serves as a beacon of light in communities once again. We believe that today’s Head Start children—innocent, inquisitive, and brilliant as they are—deserve a hopeful future where their lives are valued unequivocally. 

"We also recognize that it is still too early for many of us to fully understand what is happening and where we go from here. But we can be present. And we can listen. We must listen. To our colleagues, to our friends, and, most importantly, to our children. 

"NHSA’s mission is to coalesce, inspire and support the Head Start community as a leader in early childhood education—and especially in your respective communities. This is a significant moment in history. How we as a united community respond can have long lasting effects on how we progress as a nation and as a world. Leading in this moment is not easy—but for you, the Head Start community who have committed to upholding the core premise of Head Start - that commitment to justice, equity and opportunity—we know that you are the leaders to turn to. We at NHSA want to do everything we can support you as you lead in this moment of opportunity for meaningful change.  

"Thank you for being present and for the work you do to build a more inclusive and equitable future for the next generation."