As we stated back in June, Kentucky Youth Advocates is committed to addressing systemic racism across Kentucky and within our organization. To that end, we wanted to provide a brief update on actions we have taken.
To ensure that every Kentucky kid can grow up healthy, safe, and hopeful, Kentucky Youth Advocates is working to address racial disparities by:
- Establishing an internal race equity team to create an environment in which we are intentional, accountable, and authentic in advancing race equity work for Kentucky. Our first step has been to coordinate a long-term plan for staff learning and subsequently incorporating that learning into all phases of our work.
- Developing a race equity and inclusion work group with partners across the state to create uniform messaging about inequities, collect data disaggregated by race, identify and advocate for local, state, and federal policy changes, and create more opportunities for people of color to have their voices heard.
- Using Advocate Virtual Forums and podcasts to lift up race equity through the policies, practices, and systems that impact Kentucky kids and families. (Check out these forums about federal action needed for Kentucky, the landscape for policy changes related to race equity, and youth reflecting on KIDS COUNT data disaggregated by race.)
- Engaging Kentucky youth to hear their perspectives and potential solutions to address race inequities in their own communities and across the state.
- Sharing data, research, and policy opportunities to advance race equity in the Commonwealth on our website and social media.
Systemic inequities continue to limit opportunities for children of color and COVID-19 has only exacerbated those disparities. We believe it is our obligation to not only track and understand those inequities, but to transform systems and lead measurable change so every Kentucky kid can thrive.
We will continue to provide updates with regards to how Kentucky Youth Advocates is addressing systemic racism in our approach to developing policy, publishing data, communication with decision-makers, and working towards our vision to make Kentucky the best place in America to be young.
Check out our newly launched webpage featuring a number of data indicators disaggregated by race along with other race equity resources.