President's Corner

Families Drive Positive Social Change. They Always Have.

January 1, 2019

Luz Vega-Marquis
By Luz Vega-Marquis
President and CEO

As we look to the new year, families continue to build a just and equitable society throughout the United States.

In 2016, for example, grantee organizations succeeded in reaching and speaking with more than 21 million people at community forums, house and chapter meetings and town hall gatherings. The topics: The issues that affected the lives of families.

Each year brings us fresh opportunities to build upon the foundation that family-led change has created over the decades. We can lift up collective steps so dignity for all is upheld – and our children are safe, our neighborhoods thrive and no family lives in poverty.

While no one knows exactly what 2019 will bring, my work in philanthropy and movement building – especially listening to families in their communities – has taught me an invaluable lesson: Families drive positive social change. They always have.

In 2019, I am confident good things will emerge in communities across the country because families are at the center of movement building. Through organizing, they lead and lift communities to greater heights.

Over the years, I’ve seen the progress of movement building in the policies that families and grantee organizations have won. I’ve seen commitment, passion and hope in the faces of people I’ve spoken with – especially youth leaders.

And I’ve seen the will for progress when a parent stands next to her child and wraps a loving arm around our future – or takes a stand by serving on a board of directors or spending extra hours to hold a house meeting to educate neighbors about civil rights.

Since 2001, Marguerite Casey Foundation has consistently stood with families and communities. Trusting organizations to use unrestricted grants – as they see fit and over several years – is a way forward for communities, philanthropy and the nation. Marguerite Casey Foundation practiced trust-based grantmaking long before it was dubbed a term in the sector.

To the families, community organizations and allies with whom we work, please keep leading and building this movement for equity. From all of us at Marguerite Casey Foundation, I wish you and yours a healthy, happy and joyous new year.

Families Drive Positive Social Change. They Always Have.