Help to Disseminate

We’d like to introduce you to the “Normal was Never Enough” campaign. The purpose of this campaign is to bring awareness and ultimately policy change, around the racialized disparities facing young BIPOC children in Kent County.

Spread the News

Hello advocates,

Local data shows that BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) children, ages 0-5, are disproportionately impacted by low birthweight, wealth gaps, homelessness, and opportunities for learning. But, we know there are community partners working to close those gaps for young children and families. The campaign is highlighting the work being done in the community, as well as giving people ideas for how to get  involved and make a difference. 

We would love your help sharing out the data, blogs, graphics with your networks. Please use the following hashtags: #NormalWasNeverEnough #kentcountychildren #togetherwecandobetter as you use your social media to make a difference.

Introduction to Normal was Never Enough

Suggested Social Media Posts

Together we can build a community where children are happy, healthy, and living their best childhoods. Read the blog here.
#NormalWasNeverEnough #kentcountychildren #togetherwecandobetter
Learn more at www.normalwasneverenough.org

A rush back to normal is a return to longstanding and persistent inequities that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and further exposed by the increased focus on racial justice. Read the blog here.
#NormalWasNeverEnough #kentcountychildren #togetherwecandobetter
Learn more at
www.normalwasneverenough.org

Discrimination, disproportionate poverty and unemployment, lack of investment, and policies that perpetuate disparities have led to a normal that does not provide equal opportunities for young children in our community.  Read the blog here.
#NormalWasNeverEnough #kentcountychildren #togetherwecandobetter
Learn more at www.normalwasneverenough.org

“Normal was Never Enough.” Here are some things you can do right now, along with suggested policies to get behind. normalwasneverenough.org/what-can-i-do/ 

Family Wealth and Income

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More than one-third of all families — and nearly two-thirds of all Black families — struggle to pay for basic needs.
#normalwasneverenough #kentcountychildren #togetherwecandobetter
Learn more at
www.normalwasneverenough.org

A fast-growing population. A strong economy. A booming housing market. The Grand Rapids area has become a highly desirable destination for many people, recognized for its economic opportunities and quality of life. However, the opportunities – and the prosperity they offer – are not evenly or equitably available.
#normalwasneverenough #kentcountychildren #togetherwecandobetter
Learn more at www.normalwasneverenough.org

Child Care

Suggested Social Media Posts

“Families that can afford to pay for quality early care and education, pay for it. Those that cannot fall through the cracks. When we don’t provide early learning for young children, we’re really denying them the opportunity to reach their fullest potential. Given the disproportionality in poverty rates, Black and Latinx children are most likely to miss out on that opportunity,” said Chana Edmond-Verley, CEO of Vibrant Futures. Read the full story at normalwasneverenough.org
#normalwasneverenough #kentcountychildren #togetherwecandobetter

For years, lack of quality, affordable child care for families, and low pay for early educators have been normal. While quality early childhood education can cost families more than a housing payment or college tuition, many early educators – who often hold college degrees – are among the lowest-paid workers in the country. And unfortunately, simply raising wages will not equitably close the gaps that currently exist or solve the issues of a rapidly declining number of early childhood providers. Read the full story at normalwasneverenough.org
#normalwasneverenough #kentcountychildren #togetherwecandobetter

Those in the child care industry agree there is not a market solution – families can’t afford to pay more, and the labor-intensive industry can’t cut costs. Instead, more money is needed to attract and retain talented teachers and caregivers. Experts say meaningful change can only come with significant and sustained public investment. Find out how you can help at www.normalwasneverenough.org
#normalwasneverenough #kentcountychildren #togetherwecandobetter

As we continue to look at why Normal Was Never Enough, we examine pathways to building a more equitable child care system. View the recent blog on Normal was Never Enough website HERE and First Steps Kent for more information. Read the full story at normalwasneverenough.org
#normalwasneverenough #kentcountychildren #togetherwecandobetter

Birth Equity

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Here’s what we know: In Kent County, Black and Latinx infants are more likely than White infants to die before the age of one, to be born with low birthweight, or to be born prematurely. Women (mothers) of color are also less likely than White mothers to receive prenatal care throughout their pregnancy. Social determinants of health such as poverty, income, housing stability, and education are good predictors of health outcomes in a community, however, economic disparities extend beyond the ability to meet basic needs.
#normalwasneverenough #kentcountychildren #togetherwecandobetter
Read the full story at  normalwasneverenough.org

While pushing for long-lasting systemic change, the Kent County community is also investing in direct services and support that improve outcomes for women, their partners, and their babies. One such approach is a community-based doula program serving women of color, particularly U.S.-born Black women – the population most at risk of pregnancy and birth complications. @DayOneDoulas, @BaxterCommunity Center.
#normalwasneverenough #kentcountychildren #togetherwecandobetter
Read the full story at  normalwasneverenough.org

“The disparities can be traced back to racism – institutional racism, not having adequate housing, not having safe neighborhoods for families, Black women not trusting or being trusted by health care institutions,” explained Marissa Brown, Fetal Infant Mortality Review coordinator at the @Kent County Health Department.
#normalwasneverenough #kentcountychildren #togetherwecandobetter
Read the full story at  normalwasneverenough.org

The CDC’s Hear Her campaign is working to reach pregnant women. Pregnancy and the first year of motherhood come with lots of changes to your body. Most are normal but talk to your healthcare provider if something feels wrong. There are urgent warning signs for pregnancy-related complications.
#normalwasneverenough #kentcountychildren #togetherwecandobetter #hearher
Read the full story at  normalwasneverenough.org

Our Partners on Facebook

Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative

@elncgr

Family Promise

@FamilyPromiseGR

First Steps Kent

@firststepskent

Grand Rapids Early Discovery Center

@grearly

Great Start Collaborative

@GreatStartKent

Johnson Center

@JohnsonCenter

KConnect

@kconnectmi

Kent School Services Network

@kentschoolservicesnetwork

Michigan League for Public Policy

@MichLeague

Well Design Studio

@welldesignstudio