In response to the horrific murder of George Floyd and other Black Americans, Voices for Virginia’s Children stands in unison with all people around the country who are actively speaking out to fight the systems that stoke the flames of racism. We do this by dismantling structural racism internally and externally, as well as learning from impacted communities. Virginia’s children of color represent 47 percent of the kids across the Commonwealth and we must be better advocates for them. To be silent is to be complicit and we will not be silent.
We have taken time to think about our work in a constructive way and the responsibility we have in creating equitable change in Virginia. To properly fulfill our mission of championing public policies that improve the lives of Virginia’s children, we believe our statement of solidarity must be authentic and self-reflective of our own organizational culture. We acknowledge the institutional racism that has existed within Voices and how this has impacted our staff. In the coming days, weeks, and months, we will have open and honest conversations about the race inequities that exist not only in our work, but also within our own organization and take actionable steps towards change.
While our advocacy has been targeted to improve conditions for children of color, we can be a stronger voice for how kids and their families have been impacted and use this information to do more to influence politicians. To be effective, we must point out harmful policies that have created racial and historical trauma in our inadequate health care, child welfare and education systems that continue to hurt communities today.
While there is no quick fix to the deeply rooted racism embedded within our institutions, we are committed to working with policymakers alongside our communities of color with renewed vigor and purpose to transform our inequitable systems.
Simply put, we will use our policy agenda to dismantle those unjust policies.
Interim Executive Director