An Introduction to Nebraska Children’s Commitment to Racial Equity
The concept of all people being created equal has resonated throughout the decades.
Unfortunately, events throughout history have proven otherwise. Racism has been among the most persistent issues throughout our society, and Nebraska Children and Families Foundation isn’t alone in our dedication to eradicating disparities.
Although there are countless examples of disproportionate involvement for BIPOC people, we are working every day to achieve racial equity that’s necessary for these systems to change.
Our mission and values, on the other hand, have always been the same. Our organization has long driven home our objective for all Nebraskan children, youth, and families to thrive. We also understand that we can’t achieve this goal so long as racial and ethnic discrimination exists. We put our goals in motion with a Racial Equity position statement, from which we’ve then created measurable goals.
Nebraska Children’s Racial Equity Position Statement
We are committed to dissolving the barriers between racial injustice and an equitable Nebraska. Our work includes creating positive individual, programmatic, and systems-level changes. That way, everyone, regardless of race, may obtain equitable access to resources for well-being and positive outcomes. Of course, this goal doesn’t yield a simple solution. Therefore, we’ve created actionable items to work toward race equity.
Louder than Words: Racial Equity Action Items
Since words are only words until we put them into action, below, we’ve included our Race Equity Diversity and Inclusion (REDI) action items. With each day, so long as we commit to taking these steps, within and without the organization, we can reach a more equitable Nebraska.
- We undergo ongoing racial equity education. Everyone is on a personal journey, so we need to continually examine concepts of race equity. In this spirit, we have implemented the first-ever organization-wide education requirement for each staff member to participate in four independent race equity-relayed learning opportunities every year.
- We are committed to ongoing training. Over 50 of our staff have attended the Race Equity Institute workshop, often undergoing intensive two-phase training, which requires over 48 hours of commitment from each staff member.
- We create racial equity awareness on an executive level. Our board regularly holds REDI workshops at each of their meetings that engage inclusion, authentic engagement, and race issues.
- We engage racial equity, diversity, and inclusion with our state and community partners. Our initiatives have offered inclusive communities and anti-bias trainings to our community partners.
- We facilitate statewide-level change. We’re assembling a task force that consists of public and private partnerships that will examine current, persistent issues of race equity occurring throughout Nebraska.
- We hire intentionally. We have created and hired a translator position to work on translation needs across the state so that all populations have access to multilingual resources.
- We honor our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. We observe and celebrate the holidays of Juneteenth and Indigenous People’s Day.
- We create safe racial equity discussion spaces for our youth and young adults. Project Everlast, our statewide, youth-led initiative that works with young people between the ages of 14-26 who have experienced foster care, juvenile justice and/or probation, human trafficking, and homelessness, has hosted open race equity discussion forums. Throughout these forums, youth and providers had the opportunity to discuss race equity issues/strategies, including microaggressions, white privilege, allyship, and safe protesting.
- We research the components behind race equity. We’ve already begun to diversity and specify our various evaluation tools by race, including our Transitional Services survey and our Community Response data.
- We measure our work. We have begun to set specific race equity goals for our initiative-based work. For example, our older youth and young adult program, Connected Youth Initiative, set a 2021 goal of increasing youth of color enrolled in Opportunity Passport™, a program that provides financial matches and literacy for young people with foster care experience, by 4%. Another goal includes creating 10 policy/practice improvements serving older youth, with at least 20% targeting youth of color.
Although these goals aren’t small, step by step, we can each embark on our mission. As an organization and as individuals, we can all work to to promote racial equity and a healthier, happier Nebraska. We’re thankful to supporters like you, who help us pave the way for racial equity.