To our fellow community members, please know that during this time of mourning, anger and frustration, erupting due to the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others, Savannah/Chatham CASA stands with our black staff, volunteers, families and children. We are deeply saddened by the continuation of violence against the black community and we demand justice for all who have experienced harm.
Speaking out against injustice aligns with the mission of CASA. We cannot properly advocate for our children if we do not understand the long history of structural and institutionalized racism that has resulted in a disproportionate number of black families within the child welfare system. In addition, research shows that black families experience higher rates of poverty, have less access to healthcare and mental health resources, and suffer from higher levels of generational and societal trauma. These cumulative hindrances impact the family unit, leading towards stress, abuse, and neglect.
In Chatham County, 65% of those in foster care are black, despite only 47% of our population being black.
We stand shoulder to shoulder with those who were able to show their solidarity at Sunday’s demonstration to demand better for our community. We are encouraged by Mayor Johnson’s initiative to create an equity taskforce. We at Savannah/Chatham CASA will follow his lead and ensure that we are addressing inequities in our sphere of influence as well.
To do our part, our organization is committed to:
Acknowledging and correcting our own racial bias
Calling out racial bias within and outside our organization
Committing ourselves to understand the history of institutionalized racism within the child welfare system Acknowledging the trauma experienced by people of color
Advocating to better the child welfare system in order to expose and understand the experiences of families of color
Ensuring that our staff, volunteers, board members, and all who implement the CASA mission reflect the diversity of the community of Savannah
Our actions are long overdue. Savannah/ Chatham CASA will not stop until EVERY child who has experienced abuse or neglect is given the opportunity to thrive in a safe and loving home.
To join me and many others who have taken Savannah/Chatham CASA’s pledge to address racial inequities visit www.savannahcasa.org/ourpledge