We were smiling ear-to-ear this month at the Parent Voices California 2022 Retreat! We hugged, sang, danced, and held each others’ babies. October 7 – 9, Parent Voices parent leaders, fellows, and staff came together in person for the first time since the pandemic! We celebrated our wins and deepened our commitment to each other, our families, and children. This was the physical and emotional embrace we had missed for 3 years!
The energy in the conference was indescribable – a buzzing electricity. All of our 9 statewide chapters were in the Bay Area with us. Lou from Parent Voices Fresno said, “We are like branches on a tree. We are all spread out, yet our roots are strong. We are fighters of children & family rights!” Our passion is grounded in our families and communities. And now we are READY for more wins in 2023.
Monique from San Diego Parent Voices shared, “Parent Voices CA is like putting on a wedding ring. A commitment to be part of this vulnerable movement, and to put yourself out there. It’s an honor to be a part of something so much bigger than yourself. It’s not about ourselves individually, it is about all of us using our voices for those who can’t use their own.”
Knowing that the retreat was also a safe space for all who came, many of us were able to have a much-needed emotional release. We’ve all gone through SO MUCH pandemic trauma. We were able to release some of our stress, anxiety, fear, anger, trauma, depression, and frustration.
Although Parent Voices members across the state have continually shown up for each other in spite of (and because of!) the pandemic, the retreat was an opportunity for members to step away from their busy lives and collaborate together in action and advocacy.
We love our Parent Voices community! We can’t wait to show the world what we cooked up together for 2023!
“I just want to say thank you for coming to this convening and giving your time and your love to Parent Voices. Without you we don’t exist, we don’t have power. But with you we are unstoppable and we’re just so grateful for all of you coming together so that we could be together as a family and to enjoy celebrating our wins together. Cheers to an amazing year past and an amazing year to come!”Jennifer Greppi, Director of Parent Policy