We acknowledge the historical and present injustices impacting marginalized communities. We demand equity from ourselves and from our community. We insist that all people have the necessary support to achieve all of their hopes and dreams. We amplify the voices of our children, families and communities. We bring together different experiences, skills and backgrounds to provide opportunities to overcome personal, systemic and institutional barriers.
Compounded by a lack of access to health care, adequate resources for schools, and other critical services, children and families of marginalized communities face a myriad of challenges that worsen the trauma of racism and discrimination. Consistent with our values, we demand equity for each and every person by calling out inequities when they exist and naming historical and present injustices. We help our youth and families navigate obstacles at school, at home, and in their communities.
Friends of the Children recognizes the culture and unique experiences that all youth and families bring to the table and we individualize each experience with them. Friends of the Children empowers youth and caregivers as the heroes of their own stories, creating a culture where they all know they belong.
Friends of the Children is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, belonging, and liberation. We aim to create and maintain a culture that embraces the uniqueness of our individual team members and an environment that is safe and welcoming. Equity at Friends of the Children is represented in our initiatives and programs across our organization. Our organizational values depict equity as a cultural norm that is integrated in our business operations.
Below are statements that support our commitments:
Diversity at Friends of the Children attempts to align individual and group differences and similarities.
Inclusion at Friends of the Children aspires to engage diversity at every level of the organization, in a way that respects values, and ensures everyone has opportunities to fully participate.
Equity at Friends of the Children engages diversity and inclusion and strives to impact each and every person so they may have what they need to thrive. It starts the process of trying to achieve justice as it attempts to eliminate barriers that impede full participation.
Justice at Friends of the Children is working towards the humanity of all people. It empowers families with programs that attempt to dismantle structural/systemic inequities and injustices and address root causes and repair the harm caused. There is healing when justice has been experienced. Belonging is inauthentic without justice; therefore, it is essential to do the work of restoring historically oppressed and marginalized communities while working towards each and every person experiencing belonging and inclusion. Our goals are to transform communities, institutions, and systems through the power of authentic relationships, and strive for justice and well-being for the children and families we serve.
Belonging at Friends of the Children aims for each and every staff member and child to know they are not just represented and included, but they have what they need to thrive and know they are safe and fully accepted to be who they are. They know they are valued, protected, and celebrated. They have experienced justice and there is no doubt that they matter.
Liberation at Friends of the Children disrupts the status quo that does not serve the needs of people. It dismantles the sources of inequity and structures of oppression and is represented in our outcomes of personal development, academic achievement, self-sufficiency, and empowerment. Liberation is represented in knowing you are free to authentically and unapologetically be who you are.
MEETING THE NEEDS OF CHILDREN IS A JOURNEY TO JUSTICE, BELONGING AND LIBERATION
All staff are responsible for embracing a GRACE mindset that helps create a healthy work culture. GRACE mindset facilitates our learning and growth while putting children first at Friends of the Children as we engage in enhancing our competence and agility in diversity, inclusion, equity, justice, belonging, and liberation. People are at various levels of understanding, exposure, and experience, and this mindset tries to hold accountable, while creating a brave space for learning and evolving.
Land & Labor Acknowledgement
As an organization, we acknowledge that each of our chapters are located on lands that were home to Indigenous people since time immemorial. Prior to the creation of the United States of America, this part of the continent was Turtle Island, the home of millions of diverse and thriving Indigenous people. We acknowledge and respect the inherent sovereignty and unique cultures of the first peoples of this land.
We also live and work in a society that was built on the backs of millions of enslaved peoples who were forcibly removed from their lands. Their labor has fueled a nation that continues to thrive at the cost of systemic injustices experienced by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities.
To achieve our mission of impacting generational change by working with youth who are facing the greatest obstacles, we commit to working internally and with other decolonizing efforts to replace systems that inflict trauma with practices that restore and advance human dignity.
OFFICE OF BELONGING, CULTURE, AND EQUITY
Dr. Tarece Johnson-Morgan
Chief Officer of Belonging, Culture, & Equity
Belonging, Culture, & Equity Coordinator
Human Resources Manager
Human Resources Generalist
Chief People Officer