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What Gives You Purpose?

Dear PEPS Community,

Parenting has always been hard, and we each experience it so differently based on our paths to parenthood, privilege, oppression, mental health, access to community, and so much more. Living as a parent in this particular moment though, is a lot. 

As a woman, mom, and Executive Director of an organization that employs and serves so many women and people with uteri, I've found myself experiencing a mix of heartbreak, rage and sadness since the draft Supreme Court ruling was leaked. Decisions about parenting are deeply personal, and PEPS has always strived to support parents in the choices they make, as well as help them build confidence in their ability to make parenting choices that align with their values.

A reversal of the right to the full spectrum of reproductive healthcare will have a disproportionate impact on poor, working class and Black and Brown families. The devastating act of white supremacist violence in Buffalo, New York targeted Black families yet again. The many cases of anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation being introduced throughout the country are attempts to erase the identities of youth and adults, as well as infringe on the rights of parents to make medical decisions that best support their children. On top of that, we're dealing with a shortage of infant formula.

Silence is not an option. Our commitment to equity means centering and fighting for those who are most impacted by oppression. There are incredible local organizations such as Open Arms Perinatal Services, Tubman Center for Health and Freedom, Families of Color Seattle (FOCS) and SURGE Reproductive Justice who are fighting for change right here in our community who we encourage you to follow and support.

What else can one person do in the face of today’s challenges, which seem insurmountable and out of our control? We can show up every single day as a compassionate parent. We can be truth-tellers and talk about racism with our kids early and often. We can advocate for change in our neighborhoods, schools, and beyond.

Recently, I’ve been reading The Lightmaker’s Manifesto by Karen Waldrond and have been inspired by her encouragement to add joy and rest into ongoing work for change. She recommends setting daily intentions by starting each day with three questions:

  1. What will make me feel healthy today?

  2. What will make me feel connected today?

  3. What will give me a sense of purpose today?

What a gift it is that on most days, my answers to 2 and 3 are related to the work I get to do alongside many amazing folks who make PEPS happen: our staff, board, volunteers, partners, donors, funders and every single parent that takes the leap to join a group. Connection is the heart of what we do. Bringing people together, even in the most challenging times, gives me purpose. For that, and for you, I am grateful.

With care,

Dana's signature

Dana Guy
PEPS Executive Director

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