As a nonprofit child- and family-serving agency, KVC Health Systems is committed to strengthening families, preventing child abuse and neglect, and helping people experience mental health wellness. With a broad continuum of care and 35 locations nationwide, it is important to us that everyone from our talented team members to our caring supporters stay centered on our purpose. Here’s the story of why we moved from our “People matter” tagline to a fresh message for our next 50 years of heart-centered service.
How and When We Chose “People Matter”
In 2013, KVC was in the middle of rebranding. Our original logo was looking dated and our purple and lime green website was in need of an update. As part of this design process, we also chose the “People matter” tagline to sum up why KVC exists. “People matter” was more than just our tagline. It’s a core truth that motivates many of us at KVC to get out of bed in the morning. We do this work because we feel deeply that every person has inherent worth, and if they need help, we want to be there to help them. “People matter” conveyed the heart of the organization.
The same year, unrelated to our rebranding, the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter began to be used on social media after George Zimmerman was acquitted in the shooting death of Black teen Trayvon Martin. The Black Lives Matter movement grew the next year as Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, MO and Eric Garner was killed in New York, NY.
Why the Meaning of “People Matter” Has Changed
In 2020, as our CEO Jason Hooper has said, racial injustice is a pandemic that is just as significant as COVID-19. As childhood adversity expert Dr. Nadine Burke Harris wrote in a powerful article, the daily experience of racism has directly affected the biology and health of Black children and adults. The discrimination, toxic stress, and feeling of being dehumanized and traumatized is literally sickening and killing people of color.
KVC has affirmed strongly and publicly that racial injustice is unacceptable, and that Black lives matter. We are proud to declare this obvious fact and celebrate Black people’s lives and contributions. Unfortunately, the response some people have to that statement is that, “All lives matter.” Of course all lives matter, but Black lives are in danger right now. As the world has changed, the connotation of “People matter” has changed, too. It has become time for “People matter” to evolve to something new.
We have changed our tagline because we do not want anyone – whether an employee, a child, a family, a supporter, anyone – to think that by saying, “People matter,” we are refuting the fact that Black lives matter.
While we are sad to let go of a tagline that fit us so well, we believe the year of our 50th Anniversary is the perfect time for a change. There are many creative ways we can summarize why KVC exists. After a robust process of internal and external ideation and many discussions, we have aligned on a new tagline that we are proud to share with you today:
“We all need connection” explains why KVC exists. We exist to help children, adults and families. Their most immediate need and their best path forward always involve connection to a caring person. This is both heart and mind, emotion and expertise, art and neuroscience. Additionally, positive relationships are the key to building resilience, preventing childhood adversity, and healing from trauma. This new tagline conveys empathy, solidarity and vulnerability. We at KVC are part of the “we all” who need connection.
Furthermore, lack of connection is a public health epidemic. Boldly calling out this need is similar to bravely ending the stigma around mental health. Human connection is the thread that goes through KVC’s broad continuum of care, from prevention to foster care to children’s psychiatric treatment. The Safe & ConnectedTM model, developed by our very own Dr. Sue Lohrbach, is the integrated child welfare practice framework KVC uses and shares with other agencies.
In addition, COVID-19 continues to require greater isolation and social distancing, and more people are experiencing loneliness, depression and thoughts of suicide. There has never been a better time to shine a light on the power of connection.
Do you agree that we all need connection? Do you feel it yourself or see people hurting among your family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, or even on the news? One of the best ways you can help children and families in need is by supporting KVC Health Systems and its local community teams that do life-changing child welfare and mental health work. Join us by subscribing to our newsletter in the footer below or consider giving an online donation today.