What’s the first time
(or a particularly significant time) 
when you remember being aware
of racial prejudice?

Dear members of our Friends Center Community,

How do we give a name to this moment that grips our awareness, causes deep pain and stifles our breath?

Recent appalling, grievous deaths of black and brown countrymen and women follow 400 years of innumerable systematic racial injustices, as well as religious and gender identity persecutions.

“I can’t breathe!” 
may be the words that unforgettably mark 2020.

To face COVID-19, we’ve muffled our voices with masks. At the same moment in time, ongoing protests, lit up by immediate video documentation of the suffocation of George Floyd, has un-muffled the voices crying out for justice. The volume is so high, the streets are vibrating. And burning.

What shall we say; to whom shall we say it; and, what actions will speak louder than words? How do we choose words, tone, volume and actions that can awaken hardened hearts?

“The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.” These words from 1881, spoken by Jane Addams (raised a Quaker, first woman recipient of the Nobel Prize for Peace), touch the heart.

May we lean into each other, virtually, to muster the energy and courage to let our one precious life speak our values.

With love, empathy and righteous anger,

Friends Center for Children


Friends will continue to uphold our commitment to our mission statement, as well as the Quaker Values under which we cultivate and operate our program. FCfC has zero-tolerance for racism or bias of any kind. It is important that we, as a community, keep our shared set of values in mind at all times, and work to embody them as models to the children which we serve. We are aware that as a school we have an important role to play in making sure we empower families so that we can support children as they develop into changemakers.

In 2017, Friends Center began an intentional exploration into implicit biases — the personal and shared lenses with which we see the world — to better understand the origins and implications of our belief systems and the way this impacts our daily lives. We remain focused on this commitment to look inward to recognize and challenge our implicit biases, create space for alternate perspectives, and acknowledge the work that we still need to do. This is essential and necessary work, the kind of work that will make us more aware, as individuals and a community.

Friends Center Director Allyx Schiavone testifies during 2017 congressional hearing regarding implicit bias and preschool expulsion. Click on image above to watch video.

Books can enlighten, open our hearts, and create change. At Friends Center, we are expanding our shared classroom library by empowering our educators to purchase new books, both fiction and non-fiction, concerning the history of racism and discrimination, the quest for diversity, the empowerment of Black children and families, how to strive for a healthy just society, and the experience of oppression. We wanted to share some of our suggestions with you.

Books for Adults:

Books for Children:

If at all possible, make your purchase at a Black-owned bookstore:

During this time, we can show our support and solidarity in many ways, among them donating to organizations fighting for racial justice. Members of the Friends Center community have made donations to Black Lives Matter and other relevant organizations. Contributions of any amount are significant, as it is not only about raising money, but more importantly, a concrete gesture of support. Similarly, Friends Center is grateful to all our donors who stand with us, whose contributions — in all forms and amounts — empower us to continue to work to fulfill our mission: educate children, empower families, inspire teachers, engage community, embrace diversity.

Organizations to support:

Copyright © Friends Center for Children 2017-2018

Our mailing address is:
227 E Grand Avenue
New Haven, CT 06513

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Friends Center for Children

educate children, empower families, inspire teachers, engage community, embrace diversity

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Friends Center for Children · 227 East Grand Avenue · New Haven, CT 06513 · USA

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