At the very core of everything we do at CASA Youth Advocates is a commitment to social justice and the fundamental human rights and innate value of every individual – from children who have experienced abuse and neglect, to individuals who identify as LGBTQ, to those who live in poor and under-resourced communities, to immigrants, to women, and to all people of color.
CASA stands with our advocates and team members of color, our CASA children and youth of color, and with all people of color in our community. We are unequivocal in our conviction that Black Lives Matter. Our organization condemns racism of any kind. We are anguished and horrified by the murder of George Floyd and the countless others senselessly killed across our nation because of the color of their skin. We are outraged in the face of hundreds of years of injustice and oppression.
Most of all, we are publically committing to doing more. We are committing to the active and vocal pursuit of justice and equity and to fighting racism in our institutions and community, especially the institutional racism that results in the disproportionate representation of children of color in foster care across our country. The same systemic racism that results in the inequitable access to education, to health care, to food and housing security, and to other needed resources.
Specifically, we commit to:
- Invest more staff, board, and financial resources in the endeavors of CASA’s Diversity Committee. Their mission is to address disproportionality in the child welfare system and work to ensure that the cultural backgrounds of CASA’s volunteers, staff, and board members reflect the children and families served by our agency.
- Build in more education regarding white privilege and systemic racism in our core and on-going training programs for advocates and ensure relevant professional development opportunities for all staff and board members.
- Identify and directly address the impacts of systemic racism on the children and families we serve.
- Share those impacts of systemic racism we see on the CASA children and youth we serve with our local legislators to inform policy-making.
- Expedite the work of our Voices for Children action team focused on Social Determinants and Equity. The team has established goals of enhancing educational opportunities for understanding equity and restorative practices among community organizations and stakeholders.
At CASA, we know how to speak up for a child. We commit to using our voice to speak for social justice.
There is no room for silence!