Help to Disseminate

The purpose of this campaign is to bring awareness and ultimately policy change, around the racialized disparities facing young children in Kent County.

Use your voice.

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 #VoteKidsFirst as you use your social media to make a difference.

Re-launch for the 2022 Elections: Normal was Never Enough

  • Share this article 
  • Download and share these social graphics
  • Start by finding your candidates – we will feed you questions to ask them from now until the election. Share this information from MLPP using this blog
  • Share this campaign on your social media feed.
  • “Together we can build a community where children are happy, healthy, and living their best childhoods. Learn how at
  • Send the above article as an email to your list.

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 #votekidsfirst 
Learn more at

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

“Normal was Never Enough.” As the November election approaches,  we encourage you to get to know your candidates. This is a perfect time to find out what you can about them, attend a meet and greet event, and peruse their campaign websites. 

Family Wealth and Income

Suggested Social Media Posts

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

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

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 #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 #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
#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 #kentcountychildren #togetherwecandobetter

Birth Equity

Suggested Social Media Posts

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

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

“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

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

Our Partners on Facebook

Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative


Family Promise


First Steps Kent


Grand Rapids Early Discovery Center


Great Start Collaborative


Johnson Center




Kent School Services Network


Michigan League for Public Policy


Well Design Studio