ERIC Number: EJ1023636
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Commitment to Racial Equity
Christopher, Gail C.
Reclaiming Children and Youth, v22 n1 p38-41 Spr 2013
This article describes the "Healing America" initiative of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, whose mission is to enable vulnerable children, families, and communities to eliminate the destructive system of racism. The W .K. Kellogg Foundation launched this initiative in the late 80s through the early 90s to increase adoption rates and help communities find permanent homes for vulnerable children in the child welfare system. The program was a success, as thousands of children found permanent, loving families. The work may have helped to shape related national and state policies and practices, but when re-examined through a racial lens, it is clear that the program failed children of color. Despite their overrepresentation in the foster care system, embarrassingly few children of color were adopted. Christopher notes that the vision that guided the work of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation was clear: envisioning a nation that marshaled its resources to assure that all children thrive. What may be less self-evident to some is the pernicious and self-perpetuating way in which racism impedes many children's opportunities to do so. Racialized social and opportunity structures have generated and continue to generate two consistent outcomes: privilege for some, and obstacles, pain, and suffering for others. Where there is suffering, emotional and physical healing is required, and that healing demands that we see--more clearly than ever before--that the racial social structure so engrained in the national ethos is no longer feasible. This is the beginning of the healing process, and it reflects the thinking behind the W. K. Kellogg Foundation's request for proposals for community-based racial healing efforts. The Foundation's mission statement calls for support to "children, families, and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society." The Foundation believes that healed communities in which individuals see one another as connected, as part of a whole--working on behalf of all children--will be strong catalysts for doing exactly that.
Descriptors: Racial Bias, Social Justice, Minority Group Children, Foster Care, Adoption, Social Bias, Social Attitudes, Community Involvement, At Risk Persons, Disproportionate Representation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
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