Racial and Ethnic Equity

Children’s Services Council is committed to advancing racial equity so that ALL children grow up healthy, safe and strong.

Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County aspires to be an innovative and courageous leader supporting a community where ALL children and families are healthy, safe and strong. Our leadership involves not only promoting policies and practices that address racial and ethnic equity but also working to dismantle structural and institutional racism that harms our community’s children. 

To learn more about what we’re doing to address racial and ethnic inequities, please see below.

For information about Children’s Services Council’s work toward achieving racial and ethnic equity, please contact Shana Cooper, Public Information Officer

Children’s Services Council is committed to advancing racial equity so that ALL children grow up healthy, safe and strong.

Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County (CSCPBC) aspires to be an innovative and courageous leader supporting a community where ALL children and families are healthy, safe and strong. Our leadership involves not only promoting policies and practices that address racial and ethnic equity but also working to dismantle structural and institutional racism that harms our community’s children.

We recognize that equity is not the same as equality. The path to equity requires that the community provide more support and resources to the families in our community that are challenged by compounding inequities based on their race and ethnicity - health, education, housing, economic opportunities, among others - that put them at a disadvantage and limit their ability to reach their full potential. CSCPBC recognizes that it has an important role to play in this process. Our goal is that race and ethnicity are no longer predictors of life outcomes.

We commit to ensuring equity in terms of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, age, ability and other protected categories of individuals. However, we also recognize that race and ethnicity are some of the biggest predictors of long-term success. Therefore, we commit to ensuring racial and ethnic equity is embedded in our structure, policies, strategic planning, and advocacy efforts.

Promoting racial and ethnic equity is critical to truly making a difference in the lives of those we serve. To that end, we make a conscious and explicit effort to:

  • Ensure our work focuses on the elimination of racial and ethnic disparities in child outcomes;
  • Educate ourselves and others to improve understanding of implicit bias and the historical context of racial and ethnic inequities, which is vital to recognizing and dismantling barriers to improved outcomes;
  • Critically examine CSCPBC policies and practices using a racial equity lens and work to ensure that both their intent and impact will promote fairness and equity to everyone;
  • Model as an organization the changes we want to see implemented throughout our community and advocate for the elimination of institutional and structural racism in systems we influence; and
  • Serve our community’s children through active engagement of their families, listening to their needs, understanding their strengths, and advocating for needed programs, services, and systems change.
     

June 5, 2020

“Racism in America is like dust in the air. It seems invisible — even if you’re choking on it — until you let the sun in. Then you see it’s everywhere. As long as we keep shining that light, we have a chance of cleaning it wherever it lands. But we have to stay vigilant, because it’s always still in the air.” (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, professional basketball player, author and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom).

Just like you, we at Children’s Services Council are tired, angry, scared, in pain, and mourning the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor – along with so many others – breaking our hearts again and again. 

We must name the racism that we see. We must mourn those we’ve lost. We must wholeheartedly condemn acts of racism against all People of Color. Children’s Services Council will stand shoulder to shoulder with our Black and Brown co-workers, friends, neighbors and loved ones to be the catalyst for change – and strive toward the ideals our community was built on.  

Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County is an organization dedicated to ensuring ALL children grow up healthy, safe and strong. Yet even as we have worked toward this mission for more than 30 years, we humbly recognize we have so much more work to do.

Why?  Because…

WE KNOW: Black mothers and Black babies die at a much higher rate than their White peers. 

WE KNOW: Black children, particularly Black boys, are more likely to be suspended from school for the same infractions as White children. AND arrested. AND incarcerated.   

WE KNOW: Black and Brown families are more likely to live in poverty due to explicit and implicit racist policies and protocols that, for generations, have limited – and continue to limit – access to resources and opportunities. 

WE KNOW: Black individuals are more likely to suffer from heart disease, diabetes and other life-threatening health complications because of toxic stress due to systemic racism.

WE KNOW: Black and Brown communities are being devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has turned the world as we know it upside down. AND…

WE KNOW: These disparities, these inequities, these injustices, run vein-deep in our society.  

There are about 310,000 children in Palm Beach County today, and nearly 15,000 born every year. Together, we must pull back the heavy curtains of denial and let the light in. Our children – every single one of them – deserve no less than that. 


March 24, 2021

America is all too familiar with racial hatred and bigotry. Our nation’s painful history – and brutal present – of white supremacy leaves a legacy of violence in its wake. That violence has haunted too many marginalized groups for generations, including Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. But for them, rarely is it talked about. 

Today, with heavy hearts, we name what we see. When we see Asian Americans verbally and physically abused on city streets across the United States, we see hate and we see racism. When we see mass shootings like the one in Atlanta targeting women of Asian ancestry, we see hate. We are disgusted by it, and we condemn it.

Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County has been focused for more than three years on taking an active role in advancing racial and ethnic equity in our county. We are deeply engaged in this mission within our own walls, and are prominently involved in this work within the community at large. We want to ensure all children – ALL CHILDREN – have the right and opportunity to grow up healthy, safe and strong.  But, clearly, a goal is not enough. 

This kind of hatred is insidious. It lures us into thinking it only impacts this group or that group, this religion or that religion, this gender or that gender, this sexual orientation or that sexual orientation. That kind of thinking pits us against each other and distracts us from the truth: Hate and fear of “the other” knows no racial or ethnic lines. It will slither its way across all intersections – until we address it head on.

So how do we do that? There are no easy answers. What we won’t do, though, is cover our ears with our hands. At Children’s Services Council, we’ve started by normalizing conversations about race and ethnicity: by talking opening and honestly about both our shared and lived experiences; by asking ourselves who we are helping, and who we are hurting.

We can’t stop the hate that’s happened in the past. We can’t bring back those terrorized and murdered in the name of white supremacy. But we can name what we see; we can commit to being clear-eyed about our nation’s past; and we can – and we will continue to – stand in solidarity with all racial and ethnic communities to fight inequity, injustice and violence.
 

Council Workshop on Equity – Oct. 22, 2020

Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County holds its first board workshop on racial and ethnic equity. The presentation from staff focuses on the importance of shared language and provides historical background as a foundation for future discussions.

Council Workshop on Equity – Dec. 3, 2020

Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County holds its second board workshop on racial and ethnic equity. The presentation focused on answering the question: “Why lead with race?” The workshop also addressed additional terms to advance the discussion around the importance of shared language.

Council Workshop on Implicit Bias – Mar. 25, 2021

Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County holds a board training on The Impact of Racial & Ethnic Implicit Bias and Microaggressions. The training was conducted by Dr. Danniella Jones, a psychologist with Palm Beach County’s Youth Services Department.

Council Workshop on Birth Equity – July 8, 2021

Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County holds a fourth board workshop on racial and ethnic equity. The presentation focused on how to achieve equity in birth outcomes. Guest speakers included: Dr. Alina Alonso, county director for Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County; Dr. Colette Brown-Graham, a board-certified Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology who practices medicine in Wellington; and Michelle Gonzalez, CEO of Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies of Palm Beach County.

 

Talking about race and racism can be hard. But in today’s world, it’s more important than ever to have these conversations with our children. In a special blog series published in EveryParentPBC.org, Dr. Danniella Jones, a psychologist with the Palm Beach County Youth Services Department, helps parents navigate these conversations.

Click here to visit the EveryParentPBC.org landing page focused on talking with children about race and racism