Staff Recommendations – September 2021

September’s staff recommendations are diverse, impactful, and educational. We encourage you to check out our favorite picks this month!

Book Pick – Notes on a Silencing by Lacy Crawford

This powerful memoir, recommended by CASA Supervisor Dawnee Giammittorio, tells Lacy Crawford’s story of surviving sexual assault at the age of 15 at an elite New England prep school and the subsequent lack of response from the adults who were in place to protect her. The book examines themes of gender, privilege, and power, and how those factors can be weaponized to silence victims when they come forward. This book is a must-read for anyone working in positions of trust with children.

Webinar Pick – Racism in the Foster Care System – Why It Persists and How We Can Change It presented by Voices for Virginia’s Children

This community chat, recommended by CASA Supervisor Emily Rea, held as a part of Voices for Virginia’s Children week of Racial Truth and Reconciliation examines modern impacts of racism in the child welfare system and what stakeholders can do to make meaningful change. Panelists featured include:

Allison Gilbreath – MSW, Policy & Programs Director, Voices for Virginia’s Children

Valerie L’Herrou – Staff Attorney, Virginia Poverty Law Center

Fallon Speaker – Director, Jeanette Lipman Family Law Clinic, Legal Practice, University of Richmond School of Law

The discussion examined the historical context of racism within the child welfare system, the intersectionality of systemic racism and it’s negative impact on children and families, and the need for players within the system to take accountability for past actions. Panelists also explored how change can be accomplished through bolstering kinship care, reducing barrier crime statutes in Virginia, and how focusing on harm reduction can better support children and families.

Article Pick – Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton

Started in 2010 by photographer Brandon Stanton, Humans of New York is a popular photo blog that documents the real-life stories of individuals living in New York City. The often raw and moving stories have become infamous across social media. Our entire staff was recently moved by the story of one New Yorker – a pediatrician from the Bronx —  who despite his own childhood of trauma, has achieved many successes and looks to share those with others. Coming from Costa Rica at the age of 7 with his mother, his resilience outweighed bullying, deportation threats, and racism in his youth. He overcame these struggles to attend college and become a doctor who now focuses on bridging the gaps between medical treatment and cultural understanding for people of color.