Alan Myers’ high standards and commitment to excellence are well known, not just professionally, but at Children’s Rights as well. The CR Board Chair recently was honored at the organization’s tenth annual gala.
CR: A million dollars is a lofty goal. Did you ever worry that we wouldn’t get there?
Alan: I had moments of doubt, but they were fleeting. When I accepted the honor of being this year’s Children’s Rights Champion, I knew I had the backing of an extremely dedicated board of directors, a group of loyal and committed donors and a talented staff.
CR: What has most profoundly affected your activism over the years?
Alan: Having grown up during the civil rights era, it offends me when we talk about the United States as a country of equal opportunity as if the injustices of that era are now safely behind us. It is simply not true for those who have been dealt a bad start in life for whatever reason. It’s like saying, “I’m going to run a 100-yard dash with you, but you have to wear ankle weights.” We must continually strive to level the playing field.
CR: Too often we hear of young people who are failed by the system. What story has affected you the most?
Alan: They all deeply affect me. From the Jackson boys, who were starving and found digging through their neighbor’s trash, to Emalee, whose head was slammed through a wall by a foster parent, there is no way to turn a blind eye to any one story. Moreover, their collective impact is simply gut-wrenching. CR’s work will continue until no child is lost in foster care.
CR: Why CR? Certainly you’ve had the opportunity to support many organizations.
Alan: Advocating for children is my passion. Albert Camus said: “Perhaps we cannot prevent this world from being a world in which children are tortured. But we can reduce the number of tortured children. And if you don’t help us, who else in the world can help us do this?” There are many worthwhile charities, but CR’s advocacy has changed the life trajectory of tens of thousands of vulnerable children. It has been a privilege to help in this effort.
Read additional articles in Notes From the Field, the Children’s Rights Newsletter: