Dear partners and friends,
As advocates for Georgia’s children, we will not stand silent.
The recent murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd — and countless others – are unequivocally wrong and an undeniable reminder of the long standing systemic racism embedded in our country. The pervasive unequal treatment of people of color, especially Black people, runs deep across our society, including policing, housing, transportation, education, and health.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” -Dr. Martin Luther King.
We stand to dismantle the systemic racism that led to these murders and that leads to these unacceptable realities:
- Georgia’s Black children are TWICE as likely to experience homelessness as White children.
- Georgia’s Black children are more than TWICE as likely to be suspended as their White peers.
- Black children are more than TWICE as likely to be food insecure than their White peers.
- In spite of making up only one-third of the Georgia’s child population, HALF of all children who die before the age of 18 are Black children.
- Georgia’s Black infants die at more than TWICE the rate of white infants, and Black mothers die from pregnancy-related causes at nearly THREE TIMES at the rate of White mothers.
Our unacceptable reality is not just happenstance. Centuries of action and inaction created it. And it will take bold anti-racist policies and action to change it. We ask that we all take the following first steps:
- Be open to thinking differently about the solutions and to having uncomfortable conversations.
- Talk about race, bias, discrimination and trauma, with each other and with children and youth. Some resources can be found here.
- Identify how state laws, policies, systems, and institutions adversely impact children and families of color and act to change them.
This is not easy work. It will be uncomfortable. But it is critical. And it will take us all.
The Voices Team