Our Executive Director has been serving children, youth, and families in Washington state for over 40 years through non-profit organizations and his private practice. One of the exciting and meaningful aspects of the name NorthStar Advocates is how it challenges us as a new organization to not just patch system gaps with “Band-Aid” programs, but to be more intentional through an equity and justice lens:
“Where do we want to be in 1 year, 3 years and 5 years?”
For example, in the child welfare and foster care system, driving toward a more humanistic goal instead of only improving the system for children today: “How do we strengthen and support families so that they do not need to enter the foster care system?” Let us remove the policies, practices and programs that are rooted in racism and white supremacy. The NorthStar Advocates approach insists that those with lived experience are at the table.
When Jim founded The Mockingbird Society, one of his guiding principles to elevate the voice and leadership of young people in foster care and/or homeless was: “If we are not at the table, we are on the menu!” NorthStar Advocates is dedicated to changing who is at the table, as well as the very menu being developed and served.