The final moments of George Floyd’s life, as well as the countless other injustices impacting black and brown lives across the nation, highlight the need to combat the centuries of trauma that resulted from systemic racism. Now is a time to reflect, challenge our assumptions and actively address racism in our own communities. It’s not enough to simply not be racist.
For more than 40 years, Advocates for Children of New Jersey (ACNJ) has worked to inform policies to give every child the chance to grow up safe, healthy and educated. Sadly, not every child has that same chance to thrive. Our Kids Count data show that even at birth, black babies face greater obstacles than their white counterparts. In New Jersey, babies born to black mothers are over three times more likely to die before their first birthday than white babies. Nearly a quarter of all black children live below poverty. And although black children occupy less than 15 percent of the state’s total child population, they make up 41 percent of the state's foster care population and 63 percent of the total statewide juvenile detention center admissions.
Racism has deep roots in our society, and needs to be dismantled and actively denounced by all.
Members of the ACNJ Board of Trustees and staff condemn racism that continues to occur, both nationally and in our own state. In addition, we will continue our commitment to emphasize the importance of race, equity and inclusion in our advocacy efforts so that every child can reach their full potential, regardless of race, ethnicity, or background. In order to truly be a strong nation, every family should have the supports they need to thrive.
In solidarity and in peace,
Chairperson of the ACNJ Board of Trustees