DC Action for Children and DC Alliance of Youth Advocates Have Merged!
by Kimberly Perry and Maggie Riden
It is our pleasure to announce the merger between DC Action for Children and DC Alliance of Youth Advocates. Under the leadership of Kimberly Perry, Executive Director of DC Action for Children, the unified organization is fully operational and working towards a cohesive strategic plan for the future. We are fortunate to have the support of DCAYA’s Maggie Riden as a consultant during our transition.
Over the past year, many of you have expressed support for this merger. We appreciate your confidence. As leaders in public policy and advocacy on behalf of children and youth, we pledge our continued commitment to use data-driven analysis and the lived experience of parents and young people to inform the creation of policies and programs that break down structural barriers and allow every young person to reach their full potential.
We firmly believe that this merger will result in a stronger advocacy voice for our kids, particularly children and youth who are regularly denied opportunities due to systemic racism, discrimination and bias. By blending our respective areas of focus and unique strengths, we believe we can achieve bigger and bolder outcomes for kids in the District of Columbia.
Together we will:
Be stronger financially and build sustainability. As a combined organization we are realizing significant savings from reduced overhead expenses, which we can now direct to expanding the research, advocacy, and organizing expertise needed to take on the systemic and institutional barriers before us.
Broaden our purview to encompass the well-being of kids from cradle to career. Children and youth don’t exist in silos, and families don’t just have children of a single age. What happens in early childhood directly affects the opportunities our young people have in adolescence and early adulthood. The need to support children doesn’t end at a particular age. We are positioned to consider how communities support children, youth, and families all along their path.
Empower young people and build power to influence change. Our collective coalition strategies enable us to organize nearly 200 groups in the District, including young people themselves, to advocate diligently for effective policies, practices, and funding needed to give every child and young person the opportunity to thrive on the pathway to adulthood. This merger will help us build an even more powerful, aligned force for the success of our children and youth.
Not miss a beat. We’ve fully integrated our work. We are now entrenched in budget advocacy, fighting for an inclusive list of priorities and that the District’s budget, for the remainder of this year and next, fully represents the needs of children and youth in the midst of the pandemic and throughout the recovery.
Our path forward is filled with promise. Building on the rich experience and strengths of both organizations, we will take the time over the next few months to focus on strategic planning, rebranding, and building an organizational culture that honors the legacies of both DC Action for Children and DCAYA. We look forward to a renewal celebration with you in the fall.
Please don't hesitate to reach out to Kimberly Perry, Executive Director of DC Action, to discuss more about the merger.