By Vignetta Charles, PhD | May 4, 2023
Chief Executive Officer, ETR
May the Fourth, an annual celebration of the Star Wars franchise, is a day where fans around the world like me show our appreciation for this amazing body of work. I also use the opportunity every year to reflect on how Star Wars inspires me about leadership and our work at ETR.
"Each choice, the branch of a tree is." - Yoda
This year, I’m reflecting on the numerous ways you can enjoy the world of Star Wars. It’s not just the feature films (and there are two NEW feature films for theatrical release in 2025 and 2027---yay!!!!). Star Wars is also a brilliant series for the small screen, like The Mandalorian. Star Wars is also a collection of video games and comic books. However you consume your favorite content, Star Wars is there for you – a mission that we try to embody at ETR.
We do the work and then distribute the outcomes across many formats, empowering our partners to work in the ways that make the most sense for their needs. Whether providing curricula in print, digital, or integrated digital options, or ensuring our health promotion materials are available in multiple languages, we commit to providing science-based solutions that can be customized for local needs and allow our partners to use the tools that make the most sense to them and their communities.
"You can't stop change any more than you can stop the suns from setting." - Shmi Skywalker
Star Wars is always changing, as are we. We also try to live our value of being responsive to emerging needs. One example is our work in support of young people’s mental health. Recently released YRBS data about the mental health challenges for young people reinforces that we need to respond in diverse and innovative ways.
We work with our partners in the Youth Engagement Network to raise awareness about mental health support and healing-centered approaches. We are ensuring that our materials focused on mental wellness topics like depression and anxiety management get into the hands of those most in need. We can also promote rest for those of us doing this tough work with and for young people so that we can be here for the long haul in support of future generations.
Like Star Wars, we’ll continue innovating and providing science-based solutions in support of youth, families, and communities in a variety of formats. On this day of celebration, and every day, may you find inspiration that reinforces your work and passions.
May the Fourth Be With You!
Vignetta Charles (she/her/hers) is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at ETR. Among many other things, she is a passionate Star Wars fan. Whether it be embracing uncommon allies, celebrating the power of youth, finding strength in the struggle of physical distancing, reflecting on the evolution of our understanding of diversity and inclusion, or learning from mistakes to make positive progress forward, Vignetta believes there’s always something to learn from Star Wars. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org