Mar 25 2021

Introducing a New CASA Workshop on Race, Equity, and Inclusion: CAPE

What is a CAPE Workshop? 

CAPE stands for Cultivating Anti-Racism through Personal Exploration. Participants will meet for three consecutive weeks for 3.5 hours to discuss issues such as white privilege, bias, institutional racism, how to be anti-racist, and more. The objectives of the workshop are for participants to gain a better understanding of the racial inequities that exist in our day-to-day lives, to understand, practice, and engage in Courageous Conversations, to feel empowered to continue their journey of being anti-racist and to build a community among other co-conspirators of anti-racism work.  

Why does someone need this workshop (or anti-racism education in general) to effectively advocate for children within the child welfare system? 

Today, CASA is serving 418 children and youth who identify as Black/African American or multi-racial. The children and families we serve at CASA are often disproportionately affected by systemic racism, making icrucial that CASA volunteers and staff understand the biasesracial disparities within the child welfare system, racial traumaand more impacting those we serve. We at CASA also believe it is critical to our mission to not only speak out against injustices in our society, but to take action, and educate our community on how we can all be actively anti-racist in our daily lives. 

How will conversations be facilitated? 

Each cohort is limited to a small number of participants in an effort to have meaningful conversations that are not always possible in a large group setting. Each CAPE Workshop is facilitated by two certified staff facilitators. Throughout the workshop, there will be discussions taking place in both large and small breakout groups.  

Will we learn actionable skills that we can use in our daily lives or when advocating for children? 

Absolutely. Each week of CAPE builds on the previous week, culminating in the final week where we will discuss case-related scenarios and how to address this work within your own case. Participants will leave the CAPE Workshop with an action plan on how they will continue this work past the workshop 

Why is learning with other people more useful than alternative educational forms, such as books? 

Books are important and helpful in continuing your pursuit of knowledge. Each week, for pre-work, participants will be given excerpts of books to read and videos to watch prior to coming to class. However, coming together, albeit virtuallyis important because participants can discuss the material and learn from one another. As a group, participants can ask questions, express their thoughts, and explore new ways of thinking. 

Do I need to have a robust understating of anti-racism/common vocabulary/other education to fully participate in CAPE? 

Not at all. CAPE is open to everyone, whether you’ve never heard of some of these concepts and are wanting to learn more, or if you are someone who may be very knowledgeable about these issues but wantto see how it can be applied specifically to your work with CASACAPE is open to individuals with varying degrees of prior understanding of systemic racism, racial disparities within the child welfare system, racial trauma, implicit bias, privilege, and more. 

How often do you offer the CAPE Workshop at CASA? 

We are offering it four times in 2021. 

 

To learn more about the CAPE Workshop experience, check out these testimonials from our staff and volunteers who have completed the curriculum: 

“The CAPE workshop truly opened my eyes to gain an understanding of what it means to be an anti-racist. After attending the CAPE workshop, I am confident about having courageous conversations and practicing anti-racism in my child advocacy. The training has also added value to my personal life, from work to family relationships, to have these courageous conversations. 

Megan Condon, CASA Volunteer Advocate

 

“As a person of color, I’ve often found it difficult to engage in conversations about race relations. While others are seeking to be more informed and challenged, for people of color, those same talks can be triggering. I found myself purposely disengaging as a way to safeguard my mental and emotional health. CAPE (Cultivating Anti-Racism through Personal Exploration) challenged me to push beyond my emotional boundaries and “lean in” in a way that I had once purposefully neglected. I was challenged to use my personal experiences in an effort to promote education and awareness while also being tasked with checking my own biases. Engaging with others and sharing similar and even dissimilar perspectives on race, equity, and inclusion was an invaluable opportunity for personal as well as professional growth. It was an enlightening experience that stimulated the need for personal exploration beyond the workshop.” 

Lakinia Ramsey, CASA Diversity Recruitment Specialist 

 

“I really enjoyed the CAPE Workshop and the curriculum offered. I appreciated the focus on anti-racism and a better understanding of racial inequalities that exist in everyday life. The workshop was through Zoom but incredibly interactive. The facilitators did an excellent job creating a safe space for people to speak openly and honestly and to have courageous conversations. The facilitators also allowed us time to go into small groups and share more in-depth experiences related to institutional racism, discrimination, and power, among others. We were able to tie it all back to the work we do at CASA on a daily basis and consider ways that racial inequalities directly or indirectly impact the children and families that CASA serves, as well as how we can better respond and react. I respected and admired that we left the workshop with a plan of action and goals to continue anti-racist work.” 

Nicole Jacobs, CASA Senior Child Advocacy Specialist 

 

The CAPE Workshop was one of the best things I have participated in all year. Alejandro and Lydia, the workshop’s facilitators, led conversations that were hard but extremely necessary about race and implicit bias. This workshop gave me the space to continue learning about the experiences of people who look different than me and how I can continue to fight injustices, not only in the child welfare system, but in conversations with my community. The definition of anti-racism is, “to work on actively opposing racism by advocating for changes in political, economic, and social life.” This workshop provided me with tools that empowered me to be anti-racist and have those courageous conversations. I hope everyone gets a chance to be a part of the CAPE Workshop at some point. It was a safe space full of grace, compassion, accountability, and honesty. The children we serve at CASA are worthy of our dedication to fighting for them in all spaces where they experience injustice. This work is imperative, and I am excited to continue learning for the rest of my life and engaging in conversations on anti-racism with the resources provided in this workshop.” 

Rachel Brehm, CASA Events Associate 

2021 Culture & Diversity Advocacy Training

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