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Messages from the President & CEO

Hillside Statement on January 6 Washington, DC, Attack

in response to the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, Hillside President & CEO Maria Cristalli issued the following statement to Hillside employees on Friday, January 8.

Dear Hillside Colleagues,

Earlier this week, a violent attack took place in Washington, DC, that was an insurrection against the United States. This attack has been on all our minds, and will continue to occupy our thoughts.

Our country was founded on guiding principles that include the rule of law and the orderly transition of power, guided by free elections. This outbreak of violence, and its aftermath, directly violated those principles.

Although most of us here at Hillside were physically distant from the attack, our colleagues in Prince George’s County were just miles away—and many likely have friends and family nearby who may have felt at risk during the episode. Let’s please keep our Prince George’s County people in our hearts.

In addition to our right to vote—it is every American’s right to peacefully protest. It is clear the response to the insurgents on Wednesday was very different than the actions taken by authorities during the protests concerning racial injustice that occurred throughout America last year. The incident as a whole once again underscores the clear racial inequities in our culture today, and the need for identifying and challenging white privilege and supremacy wherever they may exist. At Hillside and throughout our communities, we all have a lot of work to do.

Thank you,
Maria Cristalli
President and CEO
Hillside

Hillside Stands

Again, and again, and again.

The killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and far too many people of color have put yet another grim spotlight on the racial and economic inequalities that continue to define life in America. This ugly tradition can’t possibly be reversed as long as any one of us continues to sit down.

Hillside stands. We stand with black and brown people in a shared sense of urgency. We stand against racism and discrimination, and against the violence that comes with them.

We know that Black Lives Matter. The children and families we serve are often among the most vulnerable in the communities we all call home. We see every day how they are disproportionately disadvantaged by systemic inequities, leading to deep-seated trauma that is frequently passed on to their children and grandchildren. It’s a cycle that hinders potential, and cuts meaningful lives short.

The people of Hillside refuse to accept this status quo. Black and brown children and families deserve a better future. We remain dedicated to providing pathways of meaningful change for more than 13,000 children and families every year, while deepening our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion among our staff. We are committed to listening and engaging in action. Our communities deserve our very best effort. We will not let them down.

Maria Cristalli
President and CEO
Hillside Family of Agencies

An Important Decision in Minneapolis

The following message was released this evening by Maria Cristalli, Hillside President and CEO.

On May 25, 2020, a terrible crime was committed in Minneapolis, Minnesota. For millions of people around the country and around the world, the murder of George Floyd was heartbreaking and infuriating—and our grief and outrage were magnified by the thought that so many other men and women of color continued to meet similar fates.

A jury has now returned three guilty verdicts in the trial against the man whose actions caused Mr. Floyd’s death. Those verdicts can’t erase the pain of what happened that day. They can’t single-handedly remove the deep-rooted stain of systemic racism that has been made evident by the deaths of Mr. Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Daniel Prude, Daunte Wright, and too many others.

One jury’s decision can’t undo generations of pain and injustice, but it remains an important step in the right direction. People everywhere needed to know that the justice system is capable of taking a stand for that which is simply, inarguably wrong.

The women and men of Hillside see every day the effects of systemic inequalities that are disproportionately felt by Black and Brown people. That perspective, and our commitment to our mission, drive us to make a difference—and that difference is felt every day, in so many ways and in so many homes, schools and communities.

Humanity prevailed today. What happens tomorrow is up to all of us.

COVID-19, and Hillside’s Commitment to Our Community

At Hillside, our dedicated and talented teams provide individualized services and support to more than 14,000 children, adults and families every year. We understand that because each person’s challenges are unique, the same is true for their pathways to healing.

But right now, a common danger is uniting the communities we serve, our country and the world. The novel coronavirus disease, or COVID-19, is spreading with alarming speed and requiring everyone—young and old, urban and rural, living in poverty and affluence—to take strong and immediate precautions in the name of personal and public safety.

Hillside’s people have rallied together in the face of this unprecedented outbreak. We’re working round-the-clock to refine our existing pandemic prevention plan and ensure that the children and families who rely on our services can remain healthy and safe. And we’re equally committed to our staff, who must balance their dedication to Hillside’s mission with the need to care for themselves and their own families. That’s a particular challenge, in the face of school and business closings that make child care and other issues a vital concern.

This evolving crisis is asking much of all of us—and for the good of our communities and each other, we must rise to the challenge. Hillside supports the protocols of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and we encourage everyone to follow their simple advisories that will help slow the spread of COVID-19.

On behalf of the entire Hillside family, please do all you can to protect yourselves—and in so doing, protect each other. Now more than ever, we are one community. We will get through this together.

Maria Cristalli
President and CEO
Hillside

COVID-19, and Hillside’s Commitment to Our Community – Hillside

At Hillside, our dedicated and talented teams provide individualized services and support to more than 14,000 children, adults and families every year. We understand that because each person’s challenges are unique, the same is true for their pathways to healing.

But right now, a common danger is uniting the communities we serve, our country and the world. The novel coronavirus disease, or COVID-19, is spreading with alarming speed and requiring everyone—young and old, urban and rural, living in poverty and affluence—to take strong and immediate precautions in the name of personal and public safety.

Hillside’s people have rallied together in the face of this unprecedented outbreak. We’re working round-the-clock to refine our existing pandemic prevention plan and ensure that the children and families who rely on our services can remain healthy and safe. And we’re equally committed to our staff, who must balance their dedication to Hillside’s mission with the need to care for themselves and their own families. That’s a particular challenge, in the face of school and business closings that make child care and other issues a vital concern.

This evolving crisis is asking much of all of us—and for the good of our communities and each other, we must rise to the challenge. Hillside supports the protocols of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and we encourage everyone to follow their simple advisories that will help slow the spread of COVID-19.

On behalf of the entire Hillside family, please do all you can to protect yourselves—and in so doing, protect each other. Now more than ever, we are one community. We will get through this together.

Maria Cristalli
President and CEO
Hillside

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