Black lives matter. CALICO stands against racism, racial injustice and racial violence in all forms. Our mission is to achieve justice and healing abused children. Yet, as the National Children’s Alliance recently stated, “Children cannot get the justice we promise them, not to mention the healing or the safety they deserve, when injustice is ignored.” For too long, our country has ignored the injustices caused by both overt racism and systematic racism, to the detriment of Black children and families.
We are committed to working for justice for children, in all forms that that requires. In doing so, we stand by all of those calling out racism and demanding better, particularly for Black children. Research has told us, time and again, the impact racism has on Black children. We urge to you read this issue brief from the Children's Bureau to learn more about this. As part of the broader children’s advocacy movement, we renew our commitment to help contribute to positive change, ensure equity in care for children and families, and embrace anti-racism. We are proud to see our partner agencies affirm these same values.
We would be remiss not to recognize that even the work of ensuring safety and health for children is embedded with racial disparities. Please read How Racism Harms Children to learn more about this. The work to address these issues is difficult, but few things are more important. All of us at CALICO recognize it is a fundamental part of our work and mission to ensure that not only will children and families of all races feel respected, supported, comfortable and safe while at our office, but that they will feel equally so in the community when they leave the four walls of our office.
For those of us who are in the privileged position to not have to discuss race and discrimination with our children on a regular basis, we might find ourselves struggling to talk to our children about this issue and the protests that have occurred in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. For others of us, this is a discussion we have had by necessity with our children many times before, but this time may heighten existing wounds. Below is a list of resources that might guide you in either talking to your children about race and discrimination or in supporting and taking care of both children and yourselves during this time of justified hurt and anger.
Change needs to happen. We are committed to being a part of this change.