SOMERVILLE, MA, September 19, 2018 — Parenting Journey announced today that former Massachusetts State Representative, Marie St. Fleur, will join as its second Social and Family Justice Fellow. St. Fleur will focus on public policy and civic engagement, building partnerships and helping to shape Parenting Journey’s growing public policy agenda to uplift all families.
St. Fleur will partner with Parenting Journey from September 2018 to February 2019. During her time as State Representative, she was engaged in research and advocating for early childhood education initiatives. While working with Parenting Journey, she will lend her combined expertise of the legislative process and early childhood education to inform Parenting Journey’s policy agenda, addressing the intersection of economic justice and parenting. St. Fleur will also work with Parenting Journey’s Parent Advisory Council (PAC)—a group of parent activists that have participated in at least one Parenting Journey program. She will help guide PAC as they advocate for policy solutions that support affordable childcare and housing.
“As a staunch champion for families, Marie St. Fleur has seen first-hand the trials and tribulations of raising children in high poverty communities, in particular the impact of the high cost of childcare and housing,” said Parenting Journey Executive Director Imari Paris Jeffries.
Some parents decide that it’s financially more feasible not to work, which not only stifles diversity in the workplace but prevents parents from achieving the futures they, and their families, deserve. In Boston, a minimum wage employee would have to work 94 hours per week to afford a two-bedroom apartment.
“These inequities in our city perpetuate the cycles of poverty and trauma and add to the everyday stressors of parenting,” continued Paris Jeffries. “Marie’s work in government, education and nonprofit sectors will guide our organization and mobilize our parent activists as we advocate for affordable childcare and housing.”
“I am proud to partner with Parenting Journey as their next Social and Family Justice Fellow, supporting their efforts to uplift parents and strengthen families,” said St. Fleur. “I look forward to contributing to the organization’s policy agenda and addressing systemic barriers that prevent all families from realizing the futures they deserve.”
St. Fleur has 30 years of legislative, municipal, legal and nonprofit leadership experience. Throughout her various roles in government, law and social service sector she has fostered transformational change, enhancing the quality of life for the most vulnerable communities. She has driven research on workforce systems and early childhood education and care, advocated for change in the public sector and expanded engagement of families, providers, policymakers, government agencies, and the public.
Former Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson was Parenting Journey’s first Social and Family Justice Fellow last spring and helped to shape the role moving forward. “We are excited to build upon the architecture that we started with Tito. We feel our work is more impactful when we partner with experts to amplify our work with parents and caregivers,” said Paris Jeffries.
St. Fleur will also participate as a panelist during Parenting Journey’s first-ever Social & Family Justice Institute, on October 22, at The Westin Copley Place. The event will bring together a cross-sector of stakeholders and partners to advance an agenda that promotes community, uplifts parents and cultivates leadership. As part of a robust conversation about families, St. Fleur will provide insight from a policy and early childhood education perspective. The theme of the Institute will focus on harnessing parents’ power to create social change.
ABOUT PARENTING JOURNEY
Parenting Journey’s work is inspired by the belief that strong families are the foundation of vibrant healthy communities and the catalyst to ignite social change. The organization is dedicated to providing programs that uplift parents and caregivers and strengthen families and communities, advocating for equitable family policies and disrupting the social narrative around parenting in poverty.
Parenting Journey envisions a world where all parents and caregivers have access to the resources they need to build resilient families and thrive, no matter their race or socioeconomic background.