Celebrating Juneteenth: A Reflection on Progress and Commitment to Racial Justice

Juneteenth means freedom for so many people, for so many reasons. I try to get people to understand it’s not a Texas thing, is not a Black thing—it’s freedom for everybody.

Opal Lee, “Grandmother of Juneteenth”

As we honor Juneteenth, commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, we recognize the strides made toward racial equity and justice, especially in systems affecting children and families. Juneteenth not only marks a historic milestone but also reminds us of the struggle that continues for civil rights and social justice. It is a time to celebrate progress and renew our commitment to ensuring a just future for all.

In the spirit of Juneteenth, we reflect on our own progress in partnership and solidarity with fellow advocates in achieving racial justice for children, families, and communities.

International Pressure on U.S. Child Welfare

🔍 The Bigger Picture: Children’s Rights has enlisted powerful international and national voices in the movement to address systemic racism within the U.S. child welfare system.

The United Nations, citing our testimony and reports detailing the harsh realities of family separation has publicly endorsed our position, holding the U.S. accountable for its role in separating and dismantling Black families.

We will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Progress Examining Harmful Policies

💡 What’s New: The recommendations from UN treaty bodies have catalyzed our ongoing domestic efforts to push the U.S. toward meaningful change. Children’s Rights is at the forefront of efforts to overhaul harmful laws, working with partners across the country to host listening sessions and Congressional briefings, and organizing rallies on non-punitive approaches to supporting children and families. In a win for children and families, new rules rolled out in September 2023 making it easier for relative foster parents to receive federal support, addressing a longstanding inequity faced by kinship caregivers in the foster system.

Landmark Report Exposes Persistent Discriminatory Treatment of Black Children and Families in NY

🚨 Breaking News: A groundbreaking report from an advisory committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights just dropped, exposing deep-seated racial discrimination against Black families in New York’s child welfare system. The report calls for significant changes to laws and policies. People impacted by the system and advocates, including Children’s Rights, played a key role in this investigation, backing their findings with hard evidence.

Calling for a Federal Investigation into Discriminatory Practices

⚖️ Zooming in on Minnesota: Children’s Rights teamed up with the NAACP to submit a groundbreaking civil rights complaint against Minnesota’s foster system. The case asks the federal government to investigate the state’s longstanding use of federal funds to discriminate against Black families. This case represents a pivotal moment in the fight for racial justice for children and families impacted by the child welfare system.

Our Collective Commitment

Juneteenth is a time for celebration, reflection, and renewed commitment to the fight for racial justice. As we look back on our progress, we are inspired to continue our work to build a future where every child and family can thrive in a just and equitable society. Together, we are stronger, and together, we will continue the fight.