FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 2, 2021
Lexington, MA: On November 30, the Family Voices United to End Racism Against CYSHCN and their Families (FamU) launched a toolkit website designed to support the important work of dismantling racism in health care. The website offers concrete tools designed to support organizations and individuals to become more culturally competent and responsive by building meaningful, equitable engagement with Black children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) and their families.
The toolkit features a variety of documents, multi-media articles, videos, and other relevant resources focused on three key objectives: Build Competence by learning about the history of race in the U.S. and racial disparities in health care; Foster Connectedness by creating opportunities to engage in raw, honest, uncomfortable conversations necessary to bring about change; and, Encourage Confidence to Act with the creation of materials and resources to equip toolkit users to start, lead, and sustain conversations to dismantle racism in health care of Black CYSHCN in their own locality. Resources are organized in four blocks:
- Understanding Black Culture to learn about the first enslaved Africans who set foot on American soil in 1619 to present day;
- Tools to Get You Started includes Cultural Awareness and Cultural Growth Tools, documents to assist with implementing this work, as well as resources for allies;
- Youth Leadership provides an overview of youth activism through history, resources on how to become a Youth Leader, and how to engage youth in your programming; and,
- Explore More Resources includes a Town Hall How-to-Guide and more.
The Family Voices United to End Racism Against Children with Special Health Care Needs and their Families (FamU) project was created in 2020 to address and dismantle racism in the health care of Black CYSHCN and their families. Since the project’s launch, the FamU project team has hosted multiple town hall meetings with activities and resources focused on specific topics, engaged a national advisory group of stakeholders, and created materials to guide and equip network members, partners, allies, and others to address related topics.
“Family Voices is excited to share these critical resources. The toolkit website was created out of our outrage at George Floyd’s murder and the realization within our national family-led network that we must work harder to address the racism that disenfranchises so many families that we serve,” noted Nora Wells, Family Voices Executive Director. Family Voices is a national family-led organization of families and friends of CYSHCN and disabilities, connecting a network of family-led organizations across the United States that provide support to families of CYSHCN. Family Voices promotes partnership with families at all levels of health care–-individual, program, and policy-making levels—in order to improve health care services and policies for children.