By: Tia Humphrey

Over the past year or so, I have worked with Kentucky Youth Advocates and other Young Adults on a grant surrounding the disproportionality African American youth face with the foster system. Not only has this given me the opportunity and platform to share my testimony of experience, but it has also allowed me to connect and relate to my peers with different and similar experiences.

Not only was I able to share my testimony, but I was able to express it in a way that had never been suggested before.

Art has many ways of touching people and can be interpreted in many ways. Before this past year, I never thought of portraying my testimony through art, but I have discovered that my testimony is powerful and that utilizing art is an excellent outlet for those that may need a visual aspect. This experience has involved many players and stakeholders and has required time, teamwork, communication, and open minds.

Through this process, all parties involved could listen to the young adults and their testimonies (including me) and come up with recommendations on how to improve the system and work towards eliminating issues that were suffered. This includes recommendations regarding training for youth and foster parents, cultural sensitivity, and financial resources, to name a few.

We know that, as a team, change takes time. We don’t plan on changing the system overnight, but we began by informing, acknowledging, and educating, and now it is time for action.