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Statement on the January 6 U.S. Capitol Insurrection

Diana Autin, Executive Director

Like most Americans, I watched with shock and horror as thousands of individuals invaded the Capitol—causing death and desecration in the seat of our democracy— as the culmination of a campaign of disinformation and lies.

Since its inception more than 30 years ago, SPAN’s mission to empower and support families and inform and involve professionals interested in the healthy development and education of newborns, children, and youth, has relied on the transparent dissemination of verifiable, accurate information. And, while we wholeheartedly support the right to protest, we do not support violent protest that strikes at the heart of democracy: the right to have one’s vote counted. 

Moreover, SPAN’s foremost commitment is to children and families with the greatest need due to disability or special health/mental health needs; poverty; discrimination based on race/ethnicity, gender, language, sexual orientation, immigrant or homeless status; involvement in the child welfare or juvenile justice systems; geographic location; or other special circumstances. Because of this commitment, our services are often delivered to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) families. Insurrection images featured the treasonous Confederate flag, Nazi and white supremacist shirts and paraphernalia, and unfounded, dangerous conspiracy theories. For individuals to be “protesting” a democratic vote, while openly displaying anti-democratic views that attack the very foundation of our nation, is extremely troubling.  

As an organizational leader, I unequivocally state that SPAN strongly opposes racist, anti-democratic mob violence. 

Instead, our focus remains on supporting and empowering all families, in particular BIPOC families, and on advocating for their civil and human rights, and their right to have their voices heard through voting, lobbying, and peaceful protest.

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