Now more than ever, the Ohio Children's Alliance proudly stands in solidarity with the black community and others in our state and country to condemn racism. Structural racism exists in Ohio. It impacts the work we do and our ability to empower kids and families to succeed in life.
The recent tragic events in our country, including the killing of George Floyd, catalyze us into action. We hope you will join us.
In our state, structural racism can be seen in the figures of minority children who come into contact with the juvenile justice and foster care system. It is apparent in high school dropout rates, youth unemployment studies, and pediatric health care outcomes.
Behind these statistics are real stories of children who have the same hopes and dreams as any other kid. It's up to each of us to do our part to advance racial equity and change these outcomes for good.
Last week, the Ohio Children's Alliance took action on racial equity by passing a resolution to denounce racism and set forth a plan of action:
We commit to pursuing diverse racial representation at all levels of our governance. We will achieve this by developing and supporting minority leadership development opportunities at community agencies. We will also advance trainings and consultations on achieving racial equity in the workplace.
We will continue to promote best practices and policies that advance racial equity and opportunity throughout Ohio's child-serving system. We are proud of the recent progress from our Governor and Legislature to address racial equity, including the establishment of the Minority Health Strike Force, and we look forward to working with state leaders to produce lasting results.
Further, we call upon all child and family providers and advocates to speak out against racism and take proactive steps within their own organizations and communities to prevent the occurrence of intolerant or racist acts.
To kick-start your own personal or professional plan of action, we suggest you explore the following resources here and here which are routinely updated with new information. Finally, we encourage you to talk to children about racism, equity, and self-worth. Consider first reading this article and, if appropriate, sharing this classic Sesame Street video with your kids (it was hip enough for my 7-year-old to appreciate!).
As we continue our journey to advance racial equity, we pledge to report back to you on our ongoing plan of action.