An Open Letter to Our Communities

  1. Updates

To our valued community members, partners, boards, and teams,

Playworks is mourning and protesting the unjust killing of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minnesota last week alongside all of you. 

We all know this is only one in an untold number of black men and women who have suffered racist treatment by our nation – in 2020 and going back hundreds of years. And we know systemic racism is not only a daily threat to the people of color in all of our communities, it is devastating for all of us who believe in justice for all and the value of every human being.

We cannot go back and change the actions that led to so many lives lost. But we can stand up, and say that this must stop

Our work begins with ourselves.

Last year, we created an organization-wide Equity Team, with cross-functional representation. I am a member of that team. Our work over the past year established a strong foundation from which to respond in this moment. Last week, the Equity Team challenged all Playworkers to provoke honest and dynamic discourse on diversity and inclusion as a part of our organization-wide commitment to racial equity. 

And we know that conversation alone is not enough.  

So, these are the action steps we are taking now. 

  • We enabled a space for all Playworks staff to process their emotions and discuss how systemic racism impacts us and the communities we partner with. This conversation led to calling upon each and every teammate to stand up and take action.
  • We will continue to create space for staff to discuss how racism plagues our society and how we perpetuate it in our place of work.
  • We are sharing resources with each other and acknowledging the actions individuals are taking, inside and outside of Playworks. 
  • We are working to receive feedback about our draft Equity Statement and will be turning this into a social contract between our teams, board members, communities, partners, vendors, and more.

Please join us as we take on this important work. Playworks is still early in our racial equity journey, but we know that this work deserves our long-term commitment

Here are some of the resources we have found powerful. We’re sharing them with you to inspire your journey with racial equity and the conversations you may be having now in response to the killing of George Floyd, the protests, or the long history of systemic racism in our country.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth Cushing
Playworks President 

More Updates


January 18, 2023

Building skills through play: adult engagement at recess ›

What does adult engagement look like at recess and why is it important? Adults actively engaging on the playground is important because it encourages healthy play at recess. Playworks’ programming recognizes this and highlights the need of providing a kind and consistent adult during the school day for students to connect and build trusting relationships that…

January 10, 2023

Understanding the Complex Simplicities of Play ›

Play is a behavior that is natural and has existed for thousands of years and across species. It combines a set of made-up rules or norms and a willingness to explore. Researchers, scientists, and doctors have studied the effects of play on kids–and adults–and understand that this natural behavior has tremendous benefits. As the American…

December 28, 2022

Looking forward to joy in 2023 ›

Over the last five weeks, we have been exploring the concept of joy. We’ve answered check-in questions on our Instagram based around joy, heard from five Coaches on Facebook about what brings them joy, and found out from students what about recess brings them so much joy. To close out the year, we have been…