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We believe reunions have the power to nourish and strengthen families of all races and ethnicities. Reunions can encourage healthy extended family relationships, provide a sense of belonging, restore family pride, nurture and respect all generations, and impart wisdom, knowledge and a shared purpose. Our goal is to strengthen, inspire and support family reunion planning; share useful information and resources; and advocate for the teaching of family and reunion history, values and experiences.
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It’s March. Time for the big thaw and elevating our reunion goals.
Hello. Spring is right around the corner and with Spring comes hope. And this year we’re hopeful that more of our reunions get back on track, resume face-to-face gatherings, and experience record attendance.
This March is bursting at the seams with things to do, celebrate, educate, explore, and make great family time out of, including Social Workers Month and Women’s History Month. Dr. Ione Vargus, trailblazer, pioneer and founder of the Family Reunion Institute, is a big advocate for social work, and has earned her stripes as one of the many accomplished and acclaimed women we honor this month.
Not only was Dr. Vargus an Acting Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education at Temple University, she served as the first African American academic Dean, and the Dean of the School of Social Administration. Her lifetime of achievements make her one of the women whose contributions to family, reunions, history, culture and society are acknowledged and celebrated this month.
March is also host to hundreds of observances. You can check out the 70+ we’ve selected for family fun in this month’s Family Time. This month’s reunion tip of the monthis a deserved repeat from 2022, and speaks to the issues of Common Courtesy and Ethics Awareness. And Worth Repeatingis an ode to Social Work.
Here’s hoping that Spring delivers an abundance of brighter days ahead. Let’s stimulate our reunion planning—and family members. Let’s motivate our children, encourage our elders, and inspire everyone in-between. Let’s take the time to enjoy happy moments each day and keep in touch.
Stay well, be safe and keep planning.
- Sticky Reunion Situation
- Reunion Tip of The Month x2
- Family Time
- Worth Repeating
- Practical Family Reunion Planning
March is National Ethics Awareness Month. And in light of all that’s going on in the world, it might do the family some good to consider creating Core Values to model themselves after.
Core Values can help a family establish beliefs and ambitions; identify principles to guide behaviors and goals; and help to reinforce the difference between right, wrong, expected and respectful conduct. Core values can distinguish ways in which members can support one another’s ambitions and provide assistance to one another.
You can use current events as discussion topics to help guide initial conversations, and create an ideal list of values for your family. Then use that list to determine which ones you want your family to adopt and work on. The core values can be reinforced and/or added to at each reunion, where family members can talk about how they’ve grown, benefitted—or been challenged—by them.
Common Courtesy doesn’t seem to be as popular today as it was in the past, and prior to covid-19 when reunions were live and in living color, family seniors routinely mentioned the lack of common courtesy at some reunions. So what’s a family to do?
March 21, 2023 is Common Courtesy Day. If your family reunion is in need of a common courtesy make-over ask family members to identify what courtesies the family is lacking. Use the responses to create a list, and ask family members what they can do to overcome it. Come up with a slogan or tagline about common courtesy that you send out with every message to the family. (Example: Davis Common Courtesy. See it. Be it. Live it.)
Ask family members to practice common courtesy every day until the reunion starting with saying hello and goodbye when entering rooms. Greeting family elders respectfully (Cousin John, Aunt Evelyn, Uncle Fred…not John, Evelyn, Fred). Using family-friendly language (no cursing, harmful slang, dissing). Putting down cellphones when engaging/talking with others.
Make a game out of it. Create Common Courtesy Coins that family members can earn. At the end of the reunion, the person with the most earned coins wins a prize. You can have categories of winners based on age groupings or generations. The goal is to get family members spreading respect, courtesy and love for one another intentionally all year long, especially during the reunion.
What suggestions do you have for keeping a family with a toxic relationship from attending the reunion? Lately chaos follows them wherever they go, but we’d like to have a safe, calm, drama-free reunion. Is it okay to not invite (or uninvite) family members, and what if they show up anyway?
March is bursting at the seams with plenty to do, eat, explore, discover, celebrate, enjoy and make great family time out of. Did you know that March is the host to over 100 observances? We hand-picked over 70+ to help encourage and inspire your family time this month, including the beginning of Irish-American Heritage Month, Women’s History Month, Social Workers Month, Incredible Kid Day, Forgive Mom and Dad Day, Expanding Girls’ Horizons in Science and Engineering Month, Ethics Awareness Month, National Optimism Month, Spiritual Wellness Month, National Nutrition Month, Common Courtesy Day, World Compliment Day, Zero Discrimination Day, Plant a Flower Day, Let’s Laugh Day and Take a Walk in the Park Day.
Want to know how to turn these observances into great March Family Time? Have a discussion, do some research, discover something new. Make a game of it, make a meal of it, create an activity around it, get the whole family involved, and don’t forget to make it fun.
"Reaching younger generations, building expectations, creating a sense of worthiness, building up self-esteem and high expectations, offering scholarships, and getting children to think beyond where they are, is highly important. There's nothing better than being able to offer real-life role models that look like you, can talk with you and can mentor you. Children need role models outside of the sports and entertainment world and that's one of the benefits of the family reunion. And that's definitely one of the benefits of reunions being more than just a picnic."
-Dr. Ione Vargus
"The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope."
"Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you."
- Mother Teresa
"There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues…are created, strengthened and maintained." -Winston Churchill
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