At Voices for Children, we are greatly saddened at the recent, senseless shootings of Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile, and the targeted killings of the Dallas police. As advocates for kids (and some of us, parents ourselves), we have to ask what kind of country we want our children to grow up in, and what sort of future we intend to build for the next generation and for generations to come.
The violence must stop, the fear and mistrust of others, because our future is a shared one: whether black, white, brown, and uniformed blue. Fear can be defeated with understanding; violence with communication. This is why we must do the hard work, every day, to sit down and talk honestly about where we are and how far we still have to go. This isn’t just about police brutality in isolated cases, the mirror tragedy of a seemingly retaliatory killing, or even access to firearms, though these are important pieces of the conversation.
It is about acknowledging past and current injustices, and the way our institutions have fostered them. It is about breaking down the systems that have led to a segregated and inequitable society, where children’s opportunities for success in life are all too frequently tied to their race or ethnicity. It is about re-imagining those systems in a way that will achieve America’s grand vision: liberty and justice for all.
What next? If you are part of an advocacy organization, we encourage you take a look at the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Race Equity and Inclusion Action Guide: Seven Steps to Advance and Embed Race Equity and Inclusion Within Your Organization.
Otherwise, we encourage you to support public officials and legislative members who seek to advance race equity in America, through policies and practices.
Meanwhile, we will continue our work to ensure that Nebraska is a great place for all kids to grow up, regardless of the color of their skin or their neighborhood.