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Processing the Death of Patrick Lyoya

Head Start for Kent County (HS4KC) Community,

As many of you are aware, last week a young male immigrant from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Patrick Lyoya, was shot and killed by Grand Rapids police. The video footage of the incident was released yesterday afternoon and the case is still developing, but we understand that this tragedy has greatly impacted our community and created many emotions, including anger, grief, and fear.

We believe it’s important to acknowledge the emotions that you may be feeling personally, and the emotions of those you interact with. We are all processing this tragic incident and we process in different ways. It is ok to not discuss how you feel. If you do choose to share, we ask that we support each other by being aware and mindful of our words and actions. If you need support or know someone in need of support, please inform your supervisor, a member of Human Resources, or the Cultural Competency & Inclusion Manager. The resources below are available for our staff and families. Feel free to share.

Resources for Talking About Race, Racism and Racialized Violence with Kids

Healing the Hidden Wounds of Racial Trauma

Free Racialized Trauma E-Course

Self-Care Tips for Black People Struggling From a Painful Week

HS4KC Employee Assistance Program
Visit or call 800-356-7089 for confidential mental health resources.

Community Conversation and Healing Circle in Response to the death of Patrick Lyoya at Ottawa Hills High School tonight from 6-8p (Swahili and Kinyarwanda translation available)

Our commitment to equity and our core values of respect, dignity, and humanitarianism is who we are as an agency and what we strive to model for our staff, families, and the community. HS4KC believes that high quality culturally responsive early childhood education, comprehensive services, and intentional relationships are the building blocks to make a positive difference in our community and region. Let’s continue to make a difference, together.


MaDonna Princer
Executive Director

NaTasha Brown
Cultural Competency & Inclusion Manager