TOGETHER FOR CHILDREN STATEMENT OF ACTION
Released June 6, 2020
Together for Children is a movement to break the systemic cycle contributing to the root causes of youth violence in Miami-Dade County. We are six diverse neighborhood coalitions united in the belief that we must lead this change in partnership with system leaders, because systems must evolve and change to serve all. George Floyd’s horrific murder has ignited pent-up national frustration about the long list of victims of police brutality, racism, injustice and inequality, as well as, a call for real systemic change. To protect the future of our youth, we believe change must begin at home and within our communities. It begins with us.
Our neighborhoods’ children are predominantly black and brown and are living in a world that makes it systemically difficult to thrive. To address the root causes of youth violence in our communities, we must also eradicate racism.
Because we recognize that action must begin now, we will tangibly and overtly integrate anti-racism strategies within all we do. We intend to prioritize the following principles:
• Support and scaffold the strengthening of civic education and engagement. We must provide young people opportunities to be heard, to learn and to actionably organize in a safe place inclusive of access to information about the injustices we continue to witness and experience today, as well as, the true history of non-violent civil disobedience.
• Activate civic engagement. Our work ahead is an investment in the long game. Our youth and families’ voices need to be heard. They must be equipped with the knowledge and skills to change systems, to run for office, and to hold office. This begins with a laser-like focus on getting out the vote for our local, state and national elections.
• Advocate for the integration of systemic anti-racism beliefs, policies, programs and investments with our TFC system partners. Beginning with our partnering police departments who have supported TFC from its inception, we must build upon what is working, but double down on how we will tangibly dismantle system enablers of racism.
• Improve and expand the alignment of mental health supports for our young people. Violence and trauma go hand-in-hand. Our children need role models, mentors, and at times mental health professionals. To thrive our children must heal.
• Support and educate parents, educators and all adults that inform and guide our children. Change is challenging. We must work together to provide places to turn to that allow us to discuss, share, learn and grow together with accurate information and context.
The road ahead will not be easy, but we have it in our power to make a change. We must define what we will do and hold ourselves accountable to it. TFC is also prepared to align and support others leading similar efforts. If we are in fact Together for Children – there is no choice, but to collectively evolve to make Miami-Dade a better place for all our youth