Nebraska’s future depends on the success of the coming generations in all communities. And it depends on a state where your location doesn’t limit your potential. Without strong institutions and strong communities, Nebraska will not be the state we all want and need it to be. We have not sufficiently tapped the potential of too many of our young people, nor have we ensured that they can grow up in communities that nurture their success.
As a result, as reported in our annual Kids Count In Nebraska Report, children of color experience disparities across a broad range of systems – education, child welfare, juvenile justice, health, and economic stability. For example:
- Over 40% of kids entering the child welfare system are children of color, yet they make up less than 30% of the total child population—demonstrating that children and families of color are overrepresented in our child welfare system,
- The poverty rate for children of color is twice that of white children,
- Youth of color are 30% of the population, yet make up 66% of the youth in adult prison.
Voices for Children is passionate about telling the whole story of Nebraska’s children. We have decided to take extra steps to ensure when we talk about all kids we mean ALL kids. Awareness, action and change do not happen by accident or in isolation. This is why we have begun to convene a group of statewide stakeholders to intentionally look at the overwhelming disparities children of color experience. We are committed to do this work in ways that can close the glaring gaps in opportunity by race. Everyone in Nebraska will be better for that, and in the process, Voices for Children will maximize the impact of research and advocacy.
If you or someone you know would like to work with us to tell the whole story of Nebraska’s children, please contact us or leave your comments in the section below. And stay tuned, as we continue to partner with those with shared aspirations on intentionally reducing disparities for children in Nebraska.