CASA’s Commitment to Racial Justice

CASA of Oklahoma County is committed to continued learning and growth. We know that systemic racism is real and inexcusable. In our over 30 years of serving the Oklahoma County community, our program has strived to continually learn and implement improved standards for training and teach all members of our organization about biases and systemic oppression.

At CASA of Oklahoma County, we know the fact of racial disproportionality within the Oklahoma County foster care system. Children of color are taken into state custody in larger numbers than white children. But child abuse and neglect are not more prevalent in communities of color. This disparity must be studied, and justice must prevail for these children and families. Abuse and neglect are wrong, but unwarranted removals are traumatizing as well. CASA of Oklahoma County is committed to equitable change for our community and ongoing growth and learning as an organization.

Beginning in 2018, after completion of a thorough program review, we implemented robust screening processes to further ensure we are vigilant about intercepting implicit biases amongst members of our organization. CASA of Oklahoma County ensures that cultural competence is woven throughout volunteer, staff, and board training focused on race equity subjects, disproportionality, implicit bias, institutional racism, and advocacy services within an antiracism focus. All staff have also attended Racial Equity and Disproportionality training facilitated by Racial Equity Consultant Joyce James, LMSW-AP.

Three years ago, we put in place a renewed diversity plan with accountability measures to ensure our organization has a keen focus on diversity, inclusion, and equity at every level and in every area. We have also forged collaborative partnerships within communities of color, including our membership in the Black Chamber of Commerce and Greater OKC Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, holding events and outreach sessions on OKC’s Northeast side, and meeting with black leaders and elected officials to ask how we can be better changemakers for our black and brown friends and neighbors.

CASA of Oklahoma County wants to be a resource for the community. Please jump to the bottom of this page to see a list of various trainings, books, and movies related to racial justice and equity.

We encourage our CASA volunteers to speak up against injustice whenever and wherever they see it. And as an organization, we must do the same – we must call out the injustices we see before us.

We hear those who raise their voices for justice and reform – and we stand with them to advocate for equitable, anti-racism, transformational change that respects the lives and rights of the marginalized in our community.

CASA of Oklahoma County’s Diversity Statement

As the organization that advocates for children placed in the foster care system in Oklahoma County, CASAofOKCO is committed to understanding and honoring the diversity of these children and their families of origin. In developing and nurturing a diverse and inclusive organization, we respect and engage across difference. We face and respond thoughtfully to difficult questions. We build bridges and establish relationships. Individually and collectively we critically examine and challenge our biases, assumptions, institutional structures and worldviews. We understand and seek to mitigate inequities and grow—intellectually and personally. It is by valuing and respecting the differences and varied strengths among us that we can best serve the children and, ultimately, the larger community. We intend not merely to state this commitment in writing, but to make it readily apparent in CASAofOKCO’s hiring practices, volunteer recruitment and training, appointments to the governing board, public outreach, and in each person’s everyday actions on behalf of abused and neglected children.

Resources for Continued Education

For Adults

  • TEDWomen: An interview with the founders of Black Lives Matter
  • The 13th | Mature audiences (Available on Netflix)
  • Hello, Privilege. It’s Me, Chelsea | Mature audiences(Available on Netflix)
  • The Hate U Give | Rated PG-13 (Available on Google Play, Amazon, Vudu, YouTube, HBO Now, and HBO Go)
  • Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise – Part 1 and Part 2 | (Available for a limited time through PBS)
  • The Talk – Race in America
  • When They See Us | (Available on Netflix)
  • Selma | PG-13 (Available on Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, iTunes)
  • Blindspotting | Rated R (Available on Hulu, Amazon Prime Video)
  • Fruitvale Station | Rated R (Available on YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, iTunes)
  • Just Mercy | Rated PG-13 (Available on YouTube, Amazon Prime Video)
  • Racism Without Racists (Book) | By Eduardo Bonilla-Silva
  • National Resource List (Google Doc)

For Children

  • NPR on Talking to Children about Race
  • Our Friend Martin
  • The Color of Friendship |  TV-G (Available on Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Disney+)
  • Books
    • Something Happened in Our Town, A Child’s Story about Racial Injustice | By Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, Ann Hazzard
    • The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist | By Cynthia Levinson
    • Not My Idea A Book about Whiteness | By Anastasia Higginbotham
    • Race Cars | By Jenny Devenny
    • All American Boys | By Jason Reynolds, Brendan Kiely