By Undraye Howard, senior director of equity, diversity, and inclusion and engagement at the Alliance

At the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, we are excited to celebrate and recognize Juneteenth, or Freedom Day, as it is known to many, which commemorates the end of slavery. This year, however, we celebrate with some reservations and even pause given the recent social injustices taking place throughout our country—the killing of Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and the many other wrongdoings that have harmed Brown and Black bodies in recent weeks.

The bottom line is that systemic racism continues to rear its ugly head in our nation, creating deadly havoc by continuing to drive inequities and disparities, primarily affecting Brown and Black communities. Such inequality in our justice, education, health, housing, and workforce ecosystem continues to depress Brown and Black communities across our nation. Dismantling, dissolving, and erasing these inequities must take place for modern-day emancipation to be realized.

So, while we should recognize and celebrate Juneteenth, much work still needs to be done throughout our nations’ communities and neighborhoods to address inequities that keep us all from celebrating complete emancipation.

The Alliance, which is committed to advancing equity, echoed the need for addressing systemic racism in its May 29 statement and hosted a webinar for members to discuss the killing of George Floyd, protests, and opportunities to advance equity. Anyone can access the webinar recording in the Alliance Learning Community.

Reflect and Connect

Join the conversation online by joining the Advancing Equity Alliance Peer Exchange group. Some questions to consider:

  • How will you and/or your organization recognize Juneteenth this year?
  • In light of recent events involving the killing of Brown and Black bodies, how has your organization responded to respective communities in promoting social justice?
  • What do you need? How can the Alliance and fellow members support you in your journey?

All staff at Alliance member organizations may join the group. Update your APEX groups in your profile and join the conversation in the online learning community.

Equity in Action: Case Examples and Resources

With more than 15 years of experience and expertise in leading member cohorts, delivering consultations and workshops, and partnering with member leaders to further equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts, the Alliance has curated these resources for human services organizations looking to advance equity. See how other organizations in the Alliance network are working with their communities to address the trauma of racism, violence, and poverty.

Given our extensive expertise, the Alliance is the perfect partner for professionals and organizations seeking to either start their equity journey or accelerate it to a new level of competence. Email us to identify how we can help you advance your equity journey.

Historical Trauma: Engaging the African American Community
Learn about the impact of historical and/or intergenerational trauma on the African American community and ways to mitigate that through trauma-informed and anti-bias practices.

Why Trauma and Poverty Interventions Fall Short
Explore the shortcomings of colorblind trauma and poverty interventions, as well as how race-based interventions are needed to address the root of disproportionate levels of trauma and poverty in the Black community.

Advancing Equity in the Social Sector
The Alliance helps the leaders in our network to model and influence policy and systems that ensure diversity, inclusion, justice, and equity in their organizations and in their communities. Learn how some organizations are advancing equity by transforming their own internal cultures, practices, and policies.

Alliance Library Advancing Equity Collection (Alliance member exclusive) 
Access an expansive catalog of resources in the Alliance Library, including best practices and toolkits, sector trends and environmental scans, empirical research, Alliance member-produced materials on agency policies and practices, and much more. Contact the Alliance Library.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Alliance Learning Community
On-demand learning is available to help develop competencies that contribute to advancing equity in communities and the organizations that work alongside them.

Juneteenth Activities, Statements, and Resources from the Network

Louisville Central Community Center

Pillsbury United Communities

Family Service of Roanoke Valley

Hillside Family of Agencies

BroxWorks

Children's Institute Inc.

Children & Families First

CEDARS

Bethany Christian Services

Children's Bureau 

Wayfinder Family Services

Villa of Hope

Mockingbird Society

Simpson Housing Services

Starr Commonwealth

Safe & Sound

Goddard Riverside 

Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan

Children's Board of Hillsborough County

Center For Family Services

ANDRUS

Providers' Council

Illinois Partners for Human Service

National Council on Crime & Delinquency