Racism is one of the most recognizable yet indefinable injustices to exist in our world. At Haven House Services, we strive to not only condemn any act of racism and oppression, but to actively dismantle systems that sustain it. Due to historical and structural racism, Black youth are more likely to become involved in the juvenile justice system compared to white youth. In Wake County youth of color are 7 times more likely to be referred to the juvenile justice system and 4 times more likely to be placed in detention than their white peers. 85 percent of the youth we serve are youth of color, and we understand that an unjust system is what leads us to come into contact with many of the youth we serve in the first place. We do not take this lightly.
We acknowledge there is much work to do to dismantle structural racism and further racial equity in our community. We are listening and continuously learning as we expand our commitments to social and racial justice. Over the past year, Haven House allocated funds to educate our staff on the history of systemic racism in our country through training provided by the Racial Equity Institute. We have adjusted our agency values and employee competencies to reflect our stance on anti-racism. Haven House also provides opportunities for staff members to participate in race-based caucus groups to learn from each other’s experiences through authentic (and sometimes uncomfortable) conversations.
To us, anti-racism is more than a statement– it’s action. It is imperative that we use our collective voices to be a force for change as we work with the broader systems that impact our youth. We are here to be held accountable throughout the process. Haven House has embarked on the first steps of our anti-racism journey by working from the inside out. As we evolve, it is our hope that we can lead by example in our community. We are committed to transparency and feedback as we travel with our youth and families on a mission towards equality.
At Haven House Services we have witnessed the pain, anger, and frustration of youth of color in our own community. It’s our job to stand up against the injustices that our youth face at an individual level, and work to change the very systems that create that inequity. Our agency’s vision is that all youth reach their potential. We recognize it is a vision that can’t be realized until all youth are acknowledged; all youth are included, and all youth have opportunities to succeed. It is going to take a whole lot of hard work.
We’re ready. Join us.