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


September 15, 2021

Creating an Inclusive Playground ›

When children feel included on the playground, it gives them the space to learn and grow in an environment that they know will celebrate their wins and encourage them to learn from their mistakes. As recently highlighted on NBC, health experts are stressing inclusion for school children, which is why we’re focusing on it as…

NE Team
NE Team

September 8, 2021

Playworks Goes Back to School! ›

We know how important addressing children’s emotional needs is to recover from the learning loss and trauma felt throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s where Playworks steps in. Over the past few months, we have been preparing for modified in-person programming with the intention of bringing an impactful, safe, and fun recess to every child in…

September 1, 2021

2020-21 Year End Report ›

Schools were closed. Sports were cancelled. Recess was still on schedule. Throughout the pandemic, Playworks has been a ready and willing partner to schools across our network, helping to redefine the role of play in the lives of students dealing with increased stress, trauma, and anxiety. The support of dedicated partners helped Playworks continue to provide…