Columbia Journal of Race and Law (CJRL) hosted their 11th Annual Symposium in June. This year, the topic of the symposium was Strengthened Bonds: Abolishing the Child Welfare System and Re-Envisioning Child Well-Being. Videos of all symposium panels are now available online on CJRL’s YouTube and Facebook pages.
At the symposium, Imani Worthy, public speaking coordinator, Halimah Washington, community coordinator and Bianca Shaw, co-executive director of Rise, spoke about community approaches to child well-being and strengthening bonds.
Quotes from the Rise Panelists
“Abolition means dismantling a system that has inflicted more harm than care, disproportionately on Black and brown communities. Abolition involves equity, investment and healing.”Imani Worthy, public speaking coordinator, Rise
“People closest to the problems are closest to the solutions — but often furthest from the resources needed to implement them. We need to invest in those people. The community knows who those people are, people who are already doing the work. We don’t need anybody else to come in and fix it.”Halimah Washington, community coordinator, Rise
“I am a fourth generation impacted by the system. What would have helped would be for the needs of my family to have been met. Their needs were swept under the rug, and impacted people are blamed — blamed for poverty and their mental health needs. Humanity needs to be restored. The system is not designed to see our humanity, it is not built for that. The system needs to be dismantled.”Halimah Washington, community coordinator, Rise
“Family policing is not widely seen as a social justice issue. ACS markets their work as doing good for children and our communities. The system shames, silences, dehumanizes and labels Black and Indigenous mothers as child abusers — so there is not a wide movement of people hitting the streets talking about it. Centering parents in the movement to end family policing is about amplifying the stories, experiences and solutions named by those who are impacted.”Bianca Shaw, co-executive director, Rise
“Not enough people know about the harms the system inflicts. It is important for everybody to know what is going on — to raise consciousness.”Imani Worthy, public speaking coordinator, Rise