May 13, 2021, 1:00 PM, Posted by Kimm Campbell
What does it take to overcome systemic racism and become a community where race is not a predictor of success? An assistant county administrator shares the steps her community is taking to transform vision into reality.
I’m a Black woman adopted from the child welfare system by White parents, and I’ve been aware of the fight for racial equality all my life. But it wasn’t until five years ago that, in the course of my work, I started focusing on equity. This is the idea that we must adjust resources, transform systems and remove obstacles to create fair and just opportunities and outcomes for Black, Indigenous and other people of color (BIPOC) so that they are supported toward success.
As an assistant county administrator for the highly diverse Broward County in Florida, I was reviewing data from our child welfare system and was struck by the disparities and disproportionality. Black families were being decimated in two ZIP codes, with child removal rates two and three times higher than that of White families.
I knew right then that we had to identify the root cause of the disparities reflected in systems that perpetuate racism—while purporting to help people—and are often a barrier to health for BIPOC in this nation.