Family Voices United to End Racism Against CYSHCN and Their Families (FamU)
This project came out of a spontaneous collective mourning as a network after the horrific murder of George Floyd and countless other Black lives in 2020. Family Voices recognized the importance of not just putting out a statement of solidarity but also devoting funding and time to support and educate our network of family organizations. The result, Families Voices United to End Racism Against Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) and their Families, aka FamU was born. Recognizing the loftiness of the goal, Family Voices chose to take the first steps, guided by the 3 objectives below, and focus on building change within our own network of family-led organizations first.
Foster Connectedness by creating opportunities to connect and engage in raw, honest, uncomfortable conversations necessary to bring about change.
Encourage confidence to act with the creation of materials and guidance to equip network members to start, lead and sustain conversations to dismantle racism in healthcare of children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN).
Team FamU with input and feedback from our Advisory Group, put together the website as a toolkit for you to begin to do the important work of dismantling racism, being more culturally competent as an organization and building and developing meaningful engagement with the families that you serve. It is by no means exhaustive, rather it was designed as a starting point. This toolkit offers a variety of documents, multi-media articles, videos and so many resources that we’ve curated for you. Enjoy the journey!
To request use of our toolkit website and any documents, please complete the form using the “FAMU Toolkit use request” button above.
The Impact of Systemic Racism
The Family Voices Families United to End Racism Against CYSHCN and their Families (FamU) project was developed to provide support and education to our national network of family organizations. Through the development of bi-monthly town halls, deeper dive materials, an advisory group, a website, and a leadership team to coordinate all the work, FamU provides a space for our network that builds competence, fosters connectedness, and encourages the confidence to act to dismantle racism.
The Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) developed a document entitled Moving Forward Together: Journey to Equity, Inclusion and Justice. It is an excellent short guide that offers 3 stages of growth: Stage one: Preparing for Change, Stage Two: Moving Forward to Together, Stage Three: Ideas into Action as well as, lessons learned and recommendations. The guide can be used in complement to this website to begin doing the work of dismantling racism.
Having an awareness and understanding of what systemic racism is and how it impacts the lives of Black families is an important first step to breaking down barriers, supporting families and beginning the work of dismantling racism. While we may not solve a problem 400-years old, we each can work towards self-improvement and community engagement.