Equity Statement

Equity Statement

Friday, Jul 10, 2020

To Our Pinellas & Pasco County Community:

Recent events in our country and our community have caused individuals, companies, and organizations to reflect and dialogue about injustices and inequities that have been faced by people of color for hundreds of years. We want to make sure there are no questions about where the Board of Directors and the Foundation stands on these issues.

We recognize that change must be made at all levels of our society and that our country is experiencing mass grief, sadness, and anger due to the violent and senseless deaths of Ahmad Aubrey, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, and our current systems require examination and action that addresses disparities and disproportionality.

As an organization that works outside of child welfare but supports the children and teens within the foster care/dependency system, we are in a unique position to influence changes to “change a child’s story” for good.  At the Guardian ad Litem Foundation of Tampa Bay, our only interest will continue to be what is in the best interest for the children and families we serve.

Here is what we are doing to continue our commitment to effect change:

In 2019, shocked by the lack of foster beds available to black males in our circuit, our organization made a commitment to address racial disparities within our local foster care system.  Since then, we have been working with other agencies and funders to gather data about the disparities for children and youth who have been removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect and will be hosting our first convening on this issue later this summer. We employ an anti-racism and anti-poverty lens as we support abused and neglected children in our community and consider equity in our investments and programs. We stand together with black and brown led organizations who are working hard to bring about change in our community and we believe that change starts within. Both the Executive Director and staff have committed significant hours to training and education on these issues and will continue to offer additional engagement opportunities for our volunteers as well.

We recognize that there are many policies, laws, and procedures that need to be changed within our community, our state, and our country so that equity for all becomes a reality. 

Guardian ad Litem Foundation of Tampa Bay is committed to being a part of that work.  We know this is only a beginning and there is so much to do.  We hope you will be in touch if you would like to join our advocacy and equity work to learn and grow together.

Sincerely,

Guardian ad Litem Foundation of Tampa Bay Board of Directors