The Bergson-Shilcock family disavows Open Connections

Dear family and friends,

Forty-two years ago our family founded Open Connections, a non-profit educational resource center for homeschoolers and their families. In the decades since, three generations of Bergson-Shilcocks have been involved in every way possible: as founders, co-directors, facilitators, donors, parents, and young people.

Today, we are sad to say we will no longer have any affiliation with Open Connections going forward.

We disavow OC because the board and interim director have repeatedly made decisions and acted in ways that are antithetical to our values and our beliefs about what is safe and ethical. We take no joy in publicizing our disdain for OC's current leadership, but we are compelled to speak publicly to clear our family name. Open Connections and the Bergson-Shilcock name have long been inseparable, and we do not want our friends and family to think we endorse the current administration in any way. We have been advised to not share our specific grievances to ensure our family doesn't waste even more time on this excruciating situation by fighting a legal battle.

To those who, like us, have loved OC for many years, please know we did not come to this decision lightly. We have only made this decision after great soul-searching and hundreds of hours of work trying to avoid this result.

It is heartbreaking to leave OC and say goodbye to decades of work, the prospect of our young people’s continued involvement, and the very grounds where our mother’s ashes are scattered. But it is unconscionable to remain affiliated with the current board and administration. To do so would make us complicit in their behavior, and we value our integrity even more than we value OC.

Julia Bergson-Shilcock, former OC co-director, alum, and parent
Emily Bergson-Shilcock, former OC facilitator, alum, parent
Amanda Bergson-Shilcock, the first OC alum
Nicholas Bergson-Shilcock, OC alum

In memory of our mother and OC founder, Susan Shilcock, who always encouraged us to do what is right.

With the loving support of:

Peter Bergson, our father, Susan's husband, and OC founder
Michael Hilbert, former OC co-director and Julia's husband
Chris Conklin, former OC parent and Emily's husband
Kimberly Lin, Nick's wife
Nancy Shilcock, former OC parent and Susan's sister
Janice Shilcock Silcox, Susan's sister
and the seven Bergson-Shilcock, Bergson-Hilbert, and Bergson-Conklin young people

December 6th, 2020