CFA Equity Statement

We must prioritize racial equity to achieve our mission 

Child First Authority, Inc., understands racial equity to mean “the condition where a person’s racial identity does not influence how they fare in society.”[1] We know that one’s racial identity intersects with other factors, so to this definition, we add place, gender, sexuality, learning differences, English language proficiency, and financial resources. While these factors should not influence the potential of the youth who live in Baltimore City, they often do. Child First Authority grounds its work in a model that builds on the assets of each youth and family.  Yet, we operate in an environment shaped by structural racism[2] and systemic oppression[3] that has deep, pervasive, and historical roots.

Equity has been a long-standing principle of Child First’s work, and we believe that achieving our mission requires more intentionality and focus to prioritize racial equity in all of our work.

Our values anchor our racial equity perspective.

We believe racial equity starts with the active decisions we make within our organization, schools, and programs.

We believe our four core values ground our racial equity approach and are fundamental to fulfilling our mission.

Our Core Values:

Results: We believe our approach to our work gets results. Our commitment to youth, families, schools, and communities demands that we produce the highest quality programs that enable positive changes and achieve results.

Relationships: We build relationships and cultivate our community. Our actions remain purposeful in order to demand resources for youth and their families in Baltimore.

Respect and humility: We approach others respectfully because we believe in and value their contributions. We value others’ perspectives even when different than our own and we have high expectations of what youth and families can contribute because of our mutual relationships.

Responsibility: We do our best in all that we take on. We assume ownership for producing the best possible results in our areas of work. We acknowledge that we do not always have the answers to every question but will always strive to produce results and accept responsibility for all outcomes.

Grounded in these values, we commit to incorporating a racial equity perspective into our everyday work that calls out structural racism and systemic oppression.

We will continue to educate ourselves on the different situations that youth and families experience and incorporate that reality into classrooms, programs, and practices.

Without this explicit commitment, we believe that we cannot achieve our mission.

Our racial equity work in the year ahead

In the coming year, Child First Authority commits to examining how our practices and systems unintentionally reinforce systemic oppression in the experiences of youth and families. We will actively work to disrupt harmful behaviors and dismantle inequitable policies by taking the following actions:

  • We will continue to make space for ongoing staff discussions for teaching and learning about systemic oppression together.
  • We will create a space for reflection and critique to help our organization do its work better.
  • We will engage in professional development, training, and facilitated discussions that empower us to undo racism.
  • We will review our hiring, promotion, and retention practices.
  • We will dedicate time in our annual board retreat and board meetings to discuss where Child First Authority is in its racial equity journey and identify opportunities for deeper board learning.
  • We will be intentional in supporting our partnerships. We will prioritize those whose values and practices align with our values relevant to racial equity.

Child First Authority understands that racial equity as a practice is a work in progress. We will hold ourselves accountable to live our values, fulfill our commitments, and carry out the actions we have identified for the upcoming year.

We invite our youth, families, and partners to hold us accountable for our plans.

_________________________________________________________________

[1] Adapted from “racial equity” definition from Equity in the Center, “Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Racial Equity Culture”.

[2] Structural racism in this context refers to a system in which public policies and institutional practices work in ways that reinforce racial inequities, adapted from the Aspen Institute Roundtable on Community Change.

[3] Systematic oppression refers to the ways in which history, culture, ideology, public policies, institutional practices, and personal behaviors interact to form a hierarchy — based on race, class, gender, sexuality, and other group identities– that allow the privileges associated with the dominant group and the disadvantages associated with the marginalized group to endure and adapt over time.
Source: OpenSource Leadership

Donate Today!

Give a gift and watch it make a difference. Here are a few things even a modest gift can do for our students:
1995/1996
1995/1996
Voter accountability session with the Mayoral candidates; Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development organized listening campaign with citizens that identified afterschool programming as key need in the city; City Ordinance granted that created Baltimore Child First Authority.
1996
1996
Kermit "KC" Burton named first Executive Director of Child First Authority.
1997
1997
Carol Dunston Reckling named Executive Director.
1997
1997
Governor Parris Glendening earmarked $500,000 in dedicated state funding to Child First Authority; earmark still exist in state budget today.
2000
2000
Grant from Abell Foundation to develop our own curriculum to boost academics in Out of School Time Program.
2000
2000
Received initial funding from
Family League of Baltimore.
2002
2002
“We are not leaving without a meeting.” Action against Department of Human Resources to maintain state earmark.
2004
2004
CFA held the first Show What You Know student showcase.
2008
2008
High Expectations - In partnership with Baltimore City Public Schools Office of Partnerships, Communications & Community Engagement, CFA worked with William H. Lemmel and Garrison Middle School students to create a school climate and culture that supports relationships of trust with students and their parents and facilitates intervention strategies.
2009
2009
CFA began CFA Art Core, an initiative that placed visual and performing community artists at each afterschool site to facilitate high-quality arts instruction.
2009
2009
Baltimore Education Coalition created and Child First serves as a lead organizing member
2012
2012
Family League launches Community School Strategy and CFA becomes lead agency for community schools and OST sites
2015
2015
CFA plays pivotal role in 21st Century Building Design process at Dorothy I. Height Elementary School (then John Eager Howard)
2016
2016
Carol Reckling retires after 19 years at the helm
2016
2016
Danista E. Hunte named 3rd Executive Director
2020
COVID-19
RESPONSE
2020
CFA Family and Community Engagement Team established during the global COVID-19 pandemic to share community resources and to provide family engagement workshops and events for parents and community
2020
2020
14 Community School Sites and OST sites
2020-21
2020-21
Provided virtual programming to children and families all while living through a global pandemic
2021
2021
Celebrating 25 Years!
previous arrowprevious arrow
next arrownext arrow
1995/1996
The Beginning
1996
CFA's First Executive Director Appointed
1997
Carol Dunston take charge
1997
$500,000 in State funding
2000
Support From the Abell Foundation
2000
Support From the Family League
2002
Funding In Jeopardy
2004
Spotlight on the kids
2008
High Expectations
2009
Art Core
2009
CFA Leads
2012
Community Schools
2015
21st Century Schools
2016
Carol Reckling retires
2016
Danista Hunte
2020
Covid-19 Response
2020
14
2020-21
Virtual Programming
2021
25 Years!
previous arrow
next arrow

Contact Us!

Fill out this email form and a CFA representative will respond to your email as soon as possible.

X