The 2014 Voices for Children in Nebraska Annual Report is now available!
As an independent, nonpartisan voice, over the past 28 years Voices for Children has achieved many, many policy victories for children, and 2014 was no different. Much of our success is owed to our adherence to data driven analysis, which allows us to see what is happening across the state without bias or attachment to a set agenda, as well as our commitment to effectively communicating the stories of our children.
In order for our organization to thrive, we must continue to tell the whole story, no matter where it leads us. We owe it to Nebraska’s children to be a fair and independent voice. With this as a guiding principle, over my past four years as Executive Director, it has been impossible to deny the numbers we publish in Kids Count that show troubling racial disparities in juvenile justice, child welfare, economic stability, education, and health. A child’s race or where he or she is raised should not be one of the main factors in determining whether he or she grows into a happy, healthy, and productive adult. Unfortunately, it is clear to us that right now, that is not the case.
Because of this, in December we had our first Race Matters conference, with the goal of providing awareness on our Nebraska racial history, awareness of what is happening now, and a vision of what is necessary for change in the future. The
conference was a tremendous success — over 275 stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds joined us to inform, educate, and motivate participants to action. I highlight this because it is another example of how what we publish in our annual
Kids Count Report guides our direction, and the importance of finding new and innovative ways to engage Nebraskans in awareness and action.
At Voices, we are always looking for ways to expand the impact we have through issue briefs, use of social media, videos, infographics, and nearly daily updates to our blog. Awareness, action, and change do not happen by accident. On behalf of the staff and board of directors, I want to thank each of you who have helped us tell the whole story of children in our state and in our communities. As you look through the work we are doing and our accomplishments over the past year, I hope you can join us in telling the whole story of Nebraska’s kids and creating a better state for all of our children.