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Executive Director Letter 8/11/20

While listening to futurist Amy Webb a few weeks ago, I was thinking about all of the ways in which the world will be transformed in the post-COVID 19, or the “we’re going to have to live with it forever”, world. There are already mundane, extreme, and fundamental disruptions to our daily lives, so much has changed.

In our aloneness will we learn to value our attachment to one another, or will we double down on divisions? Is former Mayor Kurt Schmoke correct in saying that George Floyd being killed before our eyes was “our Emmitt Till moment”? Are we angry enough, are we shocked enough, are we devastated enough? Are we as a society truly committed enough to break the yoke of racism? How much do we care now? How about two years from now?

Where will we land? That is the unanswerable question, which leads to the unanswerable difficulty in any question about planning for the future. What we can be sure of is that artists will play a profound role in this transformation. The artist is never stagnant, but is a vital researcher and investigator.

Artists are investigating changes in education. For example, how do we make sure that technology works for us and not against us? Is it possible to use this moment to come to a consensus on the high value of teachers? Will we pay them more? Will disease prevention be the force that finally improves conditions and learning outcomes?

Whether we like it or not, we are in this together. And this current condition won’t last forever. But it has already changed our thinking about food, communication, education, the definition of equity, technology and more. Don’t get me wrong, things could get far worse, however with creativity, compassion, and a dedication to the truth, our writers, historians, and artists can help hasten a transformation that results in a better and more just world.

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted". Reverend Dr.Martin Luther King Jr

Be strong,


Join the Saul Zaentz Charitable Foundation, The Hunt Institute, and the Ounce of Prevention for a Virtual Premiere of the new documentary Starting At Zero. This event will be accompanied by brief panel discussions on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on early childhood education in America, and the critical role of high-quality early learning for our nation’s recovery and ensuring a brighter, more equitable tomorrow for all children and families.

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