Welcome back to our monthly series of What We’re Into, an update on everything CASA staff is buzzing about! We’re here as Certified Professional Enthusiasts to keep the series going with some ~super~ recommendations on movies, articles, and everything else in recent memory that pertains to our advocacy at CASA.
Fall is in full swing! The weather will soon start changing and you’ll have more opportunities to step outside, grab a warm pumpkin spice drink and maybe even catch some leaves changing. While you wait for cooler weather to arrive, check out our great recommendations below!
If you’re looking for a good movie or tv show, watch
Finding Home: A Foster Youth Story, Directed by Pamela Tom
“This PBS documentary follows a youth who has a CASA volunteer and showcases their relationship throughout the film. The audience also gains insight on the importance of family, fictive kin, and developing relational permanency.” – Elizabeth Throop, Family Finding Specialist
The Good Place, Created by Michael Schur
On the off chance you’re not already on The Good Place Trans Eternal Railway:
“The Good Place is a serial comedy, and I cannot recommend enough that new viewers start with Episode 1 (Seasons 1-3 are streaming on Netflix, 13 episodes each), as the story progresses in so many wild and wonderful ways. Season 4 (the final season, by design) started on September 26th and airs Thursdays on NBC. The more you learn about the main character, Eleanor, the more you realize you learn that she’s a hardened person because of her rough past. She didn’t have parents who were there for her and had to fend for herself at 14. This is something we see a lot with the children we serve. It was only in the Good Place that Eleanor realizes she could let people in.
Not to mention, if you’re going to binge-watch a TV show for self-care, you might as well learn something at the same time! The Good Place is the best Ethics & Moral Philosophy class I have ever taken, and it is easily is my favorite show on television or streaming right now. There is nothing else like it, y’all.” - Ryan Broussard, Training Specialist
Unbelievable, Written by Susannah Grant
“Unbelievable is a Netflix Limited Series that follows the journey of an ex-foster child who was sexually assaulted. The series teaches us that people respond to trauma differently. In the series, the young woman is not believed because of how she reacts to her traumatic experience. I think it is important for us to see that there are many different types of ways that people respond to trauma and that we should support individuals without passing judgment even if they do not fit the traditional response. It is a difficult series to watch but so good!” – Wendy Morse, Training Specialist
If you’re looking for a good read, check out
So You Want To Talk About Race, Written by Ijeoma Oluo
“This book focuses on systemic racism and how language perpetuates racism as well as how it limits conversations around intersectionality. The more I read this book the more I realize how much I still have to learn. This book is a great resource for me as a Child Advocacy Specialist when working to understand the bureaucracy of CPS, the families we serve and the CASA volunteers.” – Cecilia Diaz, Child Advocacy Specialist
El libro de los americanos desconocidos / The Book of Unknown Americans, Written by Cristina Henriquez
“This book is about a Mexican family that immigrates to the United States in search of better medical care for one of their children. The story highlights the daily struggles experienced by immigrants that I have witnessed in my own advocacy efforts. The book also dives into the lives of several families living within the same apartment complex and offers a glimpse into their cultural differences. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning more about the immigrant journey, potential language barriers, and cultural assumptions that are experienced by so many immigrants in America.” – Rachel Austin, Child Advocacy Specialist
The Bluest Eye, by Nobel Prize-Winning Author Tony Morrison
"After Toni Morrison passed away, I was inspired to reconnect with her stunning writing. I first read Song of Solomon (we reviewed in August), and then decided to reread Morrison's first novel, The Bluest Eye. This is a beautifully written and incredibly sad novel. Morrison moves through numerous viewpoints and stories, and she plays with format and style throughout. The novel heavily focuses on colorism, and how beauty standards are based around white or European features. The novel is also very much about childhood trauma. We learn about the trauma that numerous characters experience in their young lives, and we see how these adverse childhood experiences carry into their adult lives and ultimately create trauma in others. Rereading Beloved is next on my Toni Morrison list. What's on yours?” – Callie Langford, Director of Communications
Those Who Wander: America’s Lost Street Kids, Written by Vivian Ho
“I just finished reading Vivian Ho's book Those Who Wander: America's Lost Street Kids. It is an interesting look into kids who run away from home, some from abusive foster homes and live on the streets. It talks about the trauma and challenges they endure and their dilemma: whether to stay on the streets with the inherent danger and unpredictability or return to the situation which caused them harm. The devil you know versus the devil you don't. It is written by a San Francisco Examiner journalist who covered the trials of 2 murders in the Bay area committed by 3 street kids. Worth the read...” – Dori LeBlanc, CASA Volunteer
If you’re looking for your next podcast, take a listen to
Radio Ambulante, Produced by NPR
“This podcast focuses on a family or an individual in each episode and how they overcame a problem. There are a lot of episodes that include stories of war, substance abuse, domestic violence, immigration, and overall resiliency in the Latino Community. These are issues that we deal with every day in our CASA work. They're all also episodes just about triumphs of the Latino community such as inventions, books, entertainment, etc. This is a great podcast to better your listening skills in Spanish!” – Rachel Austin, Child Advocacy Specialist
2019 CASA Recommends October