What I believe

by Margaret Brodkin

What all children deserve:
  • To have their basic needs met, to be embraced by a loving family, and to live up to their potential.
  • A government that ensures that their rights are fully realized.
  • A community, state and country that are addressing poverty and racism, the major barriers to their becoming adults who can fully participate in society.
How change happens:
  • Every person and every organization, inside and outside the system, has the potential to be a change agent. It’s a matter of finding the right strategy and role that suits their personality, political context, core values and skills.
  • Everyone says they love children, but changing the status quo for kids never happens without a struggle. If we wait for everyone to agree that it is the right time or right way to make the changes that are needed, we will never act.
  • A budget is a community’s single most important reflection of its priorities – it’s where the rubber hits the road and is the reason that there cannot be change without addressing fiscal priorities.
Solutions needed:
  • It is impossible to address the problems of children without involving their families and communities.
  • Building community is the most important strategy for addressing social problems – strong community institutions (public and private), strong communities of support and strong communities mobilizing for change.
  • There is no one solution or factor that is the key to change. Change is incremental and requires the “collective impact” of many efforts and variables.
  • It’s best to launch efforts to effect change, whether as an individual, community organization or public agency, by balancing the following considerations: your expertise and specific interests, your opportunities, and your potential for impact.


Margaret Brodkin is the power behind our work. Her legacy speaks for itself. She has dedicated her life to fighting for equity and healthy families, and has set the bar high for those following in her footsteps. Her tireless advocacy and fearless passion are an example and inspiration for how we need to go about manifesting change. Margaret Brodkin has had the courage to delve into social work, lead a nonprofit organization, challenge decision makers, become a decision maker, and endure leadership challenges. She is an ally and teacher, and her force will move you to action. More importantly, her leadership not only mobilizes, but humanizes, the work.

– Leticia Hernandez,
Director of Parent and Community Outreach, San Francisco Unified School District, Superintendent’s Zone