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Children's Justice Demands Racial Justice

A Statement from LFC’s Executive Director

June 3, 2020

In the wake of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and
countless others, Lawyers For Children stands in solidarity with the Black community,
including our Black colleagues, friends, and our young clients.

At Lawyers For Children, the vast majority of our clients are children and youth of color
who disproportionately experience the oppression, violence, and trauma of systemic
racism and white supremacy. These twin forces have poisoned our society and rained
terror on Black communities for centuries. They are the rot at the core of our country,
and we share a duty to work toward their eradication so that all children have an equal
opportunity to thrive.

For the sake of the youth coming of age today and tomorrow, we cannot afford to
abandon hope. Instead, we find resolve in this moment. We must face our history,
confront our role in systems of oppression, and fight for the accountability and
transformative change that people across the country have raised their voices to

At LFC, we know the power of listening when a young person asks to be heard. We
listen because we recognize our clients’ pain and their anger, and because we must
achieve the justice they seek, on their terms. And, we listen because we are inspired by
their hopes and dreams.

George Floyd, in a composition saved by his second-grade teacher, wrote of his dream
to become a Supreme Court justice. He said, "...I will beat my hammer on the desk.
Then everyone will be quiet...” At LFC we will hold that hammer in his honor and use it
to demand the quiet attention necessary to heed the voices of young people in the
courts and to hold the justice system accountable.

As an organization, we acknowledge our obligation to use our collective privilege as
advocates to wring justice from systems where injustice and denial of opportunity crush
children’s hopes, dreams, and futures. We will continue to take action to protect our
clients’ legal rights, to advocate for police accountability, and to promote equity in
educational opportunity, in healthcare, and in safe and stable housing.

Change also begins in our homes and with our families and loved ones. I acknowledge
my own personal responsibility to continue to listen, learn, and grow, and I hope the
resources I share below can help you in your conversations about systemic racism with
your children and loved ones.

We affirm through our words and actions: Black lives matter. There is no children's justice without racial justice.

May we work together toward equal justice and transformative change,
Karen J. Freedman
Executive Director