The Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis is guided by the values of social justice and equity, thus it is deeply troubling that across the southern border of the U.S. children are being separated from parents. The current administration is enforcing a “zero-tolerance” policy, with regulation complexity and politicized commentary abounding. Yet, it is clear that children are being sent to overcrowded detention centers. The trauma inflicted on children and their parents is intentional and will very likely result in long-term negative effects on child well-being. Harm is being done to these families (and many others) as myriad policies, unaligned with justice and equity, have been put in place.
Members of our community are not standing by, but are bearing witness to the failure to protect children, contacting their elected officials, contributing to protests, and joining with others national to insist that protection of all children and their families is of the highest priority for our nation.
If you are looking to get immediately involved, CARA, a coalition of volunteer-managed organizations, is seeking volunteers to offer support services, complete intakes, collect data, gather research and more. Additionally, please contact your local, state and federal elected officials and demand the discontinuation of this policy and the immediate reunification of children and their parents. Although this is a federal policy, pressure must be created at all levels of government.
There are also opportunities to contribute to one of the many organizations that are doing good work on the ground and need our support.
We are working with students, faculty and staff, organized by the Clark-Fox Policy Institute, to plan a town hall meeting to share information, resources and opportunities to get involved. An announcement with details is forthcoming.
I deeply appreciate your partnership in helping to protect children and their families made vulnerable by the policies prioritized by our leaders.