Striving Toward Equity
At CASA of Baltimore County, one of our core values is ensuring that everyone we serve, work with, employ, or otherwise interact with is treated with respect, dignity and fairness. We want to be sure that we are contributing positively to the community and striving for not just equality, but equity. This is our commitment as an organization.
We also know that this work is ongoing, and that we must continue to make changes and put forth effort to accomplish these goals. This is only the beginning, and there is much more to come.
We are at a moment in our country when more and more people are standing up to say "no more." Years, decades, and even centuries of systemic racism and inequity have placed certain groups, particularly African-Americans, "behind" others.
Unfortunately, this reality is also reflected in the foster care system.
Our CASA community includes the 142 children and youth that we are serving today, including 62 individuals who identify as Black or African-American. This is roughly 44% of our children; the County makeup is 26%. It has long been known that children of color, particularly Black children, are far overrepresented in foster care, just as Black people continue to be overrepresented in the criminal justice system, in incidents of violence by police, in suspensions in school, and in poor health outcomes. As an organization that is dedicated to serving the best interests of those most vulnerable in our community, these realities are unacceptable.
In the midst of several recent incidents that have yet again brought these issues to the surface, we share in the sorrow of our country and our community.
Yet we also share in the hope that there is a better way and that this time might be different.
In order for there to be real change, every individual and every organization must do their part. CASA of Baltimore County is committed to doing better for the children and families we work with – to listen, to learn, to hear, and to speak up. We are beginning with two forums, one for our youth and one for our volunteers, to help process the overwhelming emotions that our community is feeling at this time. We know it can’t stop there, and our promise to you, our CASA community, is that we will continue the work.
Below are links to upcoming trainings, events, resources and other opportunities we hope you will find useful.
- Maryland CASA’s Antiracism Resource Toolkit: https://marylandcasa.org/antiracism-toolkit/
- Youth Forum on Racism: new date TBA – Ask your CASA supervisor how your CASA youth, age 14+, can participate
- Volunteer Forum on Racism: Date TBA
- Baltimore County & City Five for 5 Campaign: https://casabaltco.org/volunteer/5-for-5-campaign/
- Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism [CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall]: Watch HERE