Like most of the world, our team at Henrico CASA uses January to both reflect on the previous year and look ahead to the new one. It’s a time to remember who we are, what is important to us, and how we can improve. This month we look to our volunteer advocates, who carry out our mission every day, to remind us of our shared values and vision. We look towards a time when ALL children in Henrico County live in safe and stable homes.
Join us as we walk through our core values, learning from our amazing advocates as they share their perspectives on those values in response to discussion prompts.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Our children come from all parts of Henrico County. We believe our volunteers, management and staff, and our Board should reflect that diversity and should feel safe and comfortable in their roles.
Everyone holds unconscious beliefs about various social and identity groups, and these biases stem from one’s tendency to organize social worlds by categorizing. To be an effective advocate for children, CASA’s volunteers strive to address their social stereotypes and uncover their unconscious biases.
What steps can you take to challenge and address unconscious bias?
- Ask questions from a genuine curiosity.
- Focus on seeing an individual, not an identity.
- Be open, ask questions, listen, and observe.
- If I feel scared or uncomfortable, ask myself “why”?
- Question my assumptions.
- Be aware of my reaction to things.
How can we ensure that a child’s unique needs, values, and traditions are integrated into advocacy efforts?
- Ask, “help me understand…”
- Do not project my values onto others.
- Investigate the whole family and situation, not allowing our differences to be a hindrance.
- Try to understand different perspectives.
- Address a child’s needs and how we can work as a team, despite our differences.
- Advocate for the system to understand social standards within a family’s culture.
It is of the utmost importance that we, as advocates, provide equitable and inclusive support for the children we serve. Would you be interested in joining us on this mission? Learn more at henricocasa.org/advocate.