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October 2013 Publisher Letter

Two years ago, I was invited to participate in a local committee dedicated to child abuse prevention, a cause dear to my heart.  I’ve long admired a friend that has served for years on the board of directors of the Contra Costa Child Abuse Prevention Council and was happy to sign on.

The group has a tradition of hosting an annual gala to fund a variety of critical programs, assistance efforts and mandated reporter training among community schools, neighborhoods and media. The past two years the event has morphed from a gala to an annual Soul on the Green concert held in August at the stunning Diablo Country Club, in Danville, featuring the Bay Area’s favorite band, Pride and Joy. Thousands have come for the mix of great music, ridiculous raffle prizes, kid’s zone, wine tasting, food trucks and to support the health of our hometown. We’ve made big strides in fundraising and growing our community network.

I have a passion about the impressions that parents and other authority figures have on children in their developmental years. They are dependent on adults to skillfully guide and direct them in understanding right from wrong, helpful behaviors and how treat other people well.

I often miss the simplicity of my growing up years in the 1970s, and am grateful to have the point of reference. My generation was often taught that what goes on in the home, stays in the home. Heck, back then we barely discussed things amongst family members, let alone outside the house. The earlier concept that children are to be seen and not heard has evolved significantly since then. Giving children a voice and letting them know that it’s okay to speak up on their own behalf has taken root.

A big part of the reason is that as parents we consistently hear from people speaking out on how adults’ actions affected them for better or worse as children. These heroes’ voices are life shaping and making a difference in our society’s effort to stomp out child abuse for good. I am proud to contribute whatever I can in doing what it takes to empower children to become strong and healthy, productive individuals while society prevents its baser elements from doing them harm.

Speaking of embracing the greater good, I was glad to recently see the HBO documentary, Miss You Can Do It! about a pageant for children with special needs. Founder Abbey Curran was the first woman with disabilities to participate in the Miss USA competition, in 2008. She created her event to grant kindred spirits an opportunity to be celebrated for who they are inside. It’s so heartwarming to witness the character of these little warriors and the uplifting impact such opportunities have on their minds, bodies and souls.

Our October issue also brings attention to the special needs of our home planet, another cause that deserves urgent advocacy by the masses. My hope is that each person picking up this month’s magazine is moved to make a difference in their choices, to consistently do right by the Earth that does so much for us.

Serve on,

Celeste Souza Natural Awakenings

Celeste Souza, Publisher

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