June 2, 2020
Texas CASA mourns the deaths of Black Americans at the hands of police officers, and stands with all people affected by racism and injustice. The pain and protests throughout our nation speak a message that must be heard.
As an organization that strives to make Texas a state where all children and families can have safe and positive futures, we recognize that we are far from achieving that vision. As a society, we have significant work to do so that no adult or child faces violence at the hands of the very structures that should protect them.
The tragic, senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless other Black people at the hands of police result from systemic racism. These people should be alive today to love their families and live their lives fully. We stand with our Black colleagues, the Black youth and families of Texas, and our partners and collaborators in child welfare, to say that these deaths are unacceptable.
We recognize the need for all of the systems that affect children and families – our child welfare system, education system, healthcare system, criminal justice system, and others – to uplift justice and become actively anti-racist. Systemic racism’s impact on many families leads to injustices faced throughout daily life, and these create the disproportionality in outcomes that we must work to redress in the child welfare landscape. The unbearable pressures on vulnerable families must be swiftly and decisively transformed as part of the core work of child-serving agencies.
This process requires deep introspection and willingness to understand the histories of inequality that have helped shape our systems. It also requires imagination and a fierce will to transform them. Texas CASA is committed to becoming an anti-racist organization. Our staff undertook a year-long learning process about equity, privilege and oppression in 2019. In 2020, we have been convening representatives of the 72 local CASA programs to discuss how those issues appear in the child welfare system and CASA’s work. In 2021, we will create an online equity and racial justice curriculum for CASA programs to offer to their staff and volunteers.
We join in solidarity with the people most harmed by injustice, and pledge to listen to their voices and leadership as we strive to become better advocates for all children and families. We will seek better ways to serve communities of color, to ensure that resources are equitably available and that the violence they are targeted by comes to an end.
In the names of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and too many others, we rededicate ourselves to build the world we want young people of all races to grow up in, healthy, safe and free.
“The beauty of anti-racism is that you don’t have to pretend to be free of racism to be an anti-racist. Anti-racism is the commitment to fight racism wherever you find it, including in yourself. And it’s the only way forward.”
– Ijeoma Oluo, Author of So You Want to Talk About Race
Free Online Course on Racialized Trauma
Led by Resmaa Menakim, Author of My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma & The Pathway to Mending Our Hearts & Bodies