This year The Children’s Movement “State of Our Children” breakfast welcomed Fresno State University President Joseph Castro as our keynote speaker.
To a crowd of nearly 500, Dr. Castro shared his deeply personal story growing up in the Valley. His grandfather, an immigrant who came from Mexico about 100 years ago to help build the railroad through the Valley and create a better life for his family, began a family legacy in America that now includes his grandson becoming our higher education president in this place we all call home. As President Castro shared his personal journey, it was clear that his life experiences living in a single parent household, in subsidized housing, benefitting from Great Society programs and from caring adults who prioritize education, have influenced his perspective on the University’s ability to lift up and provide opportunities to our youth. “As president of Central California’s largest educational institution, Fresno State’s reach extends far beyond the classroom…into our community and around the world. It is therefore incumbent upon Fresno State to work together with our community to help our children become ready to succeed.”
As Fresno continues to build the capacity to collaborate on the challenges facing our region, President Castro said “Together, we are shining a spotlight on issues that matter and collectively working to find solutions. Forming groups dedicated to the same outcomes increases our chance to act. Groups of people help break down problems and provide the much-needed capacity for addressing major social change. Groups can also become harmful to a community when we lose our sense of inclusiveness and feel threatened by others doing similar work. Groups can also cause responsibility to become diffused enabling individuals to “leave it up to the other person.” So, as we work together to address the challenges affecting our families, I urge us to find common ground, stay focused on what is best for our children and the greater good of our society. Every voice matters and every one matters.”
Thank you to Raymond Henry, Lisa Smittcamp, Nya Nulty, Linda Golden, Issac Brown, Greg Hund and Brooklynblair Shapiro for their participation in the breakfast program. Thank you to our Hero Sponsors including California State University Fresno, Cal Viva Health, Fresno Unified School District, Central Unified School District and Fresno Housing Authority in addition to our Champion, Advocate and Steward sponsors.