February is Black History Month, and FCA’s Michael Chung, Recruitment Coordinator in FCA’s Foster Care program, is our guest blogger. In addition to his role in Foster Care, Michael is a co-chair of FCA’s internal Social Justice Workgroup, a team working to serve as a catalyst for dialog and action in response to inherent biases in us and in our community to promote social justice.
The month of February marks the celebration of black history and the contributions of African Americans throughout our nation’s history. This yearly recognition may also serve as reminder of greatness through resilience and fortitude despite many sacrifices and hardships of past and present times.
Personally, this year’s celebration reminds me of the old saying within my community, “you don’t know where you’re going unless you remember where you’ve come from.” It reminds me to honor and respect contributions of the past while remaining committed to efforts to invoke change. It reminds me to remain committed to advocacy and the support of children and families who have experienced hardships. It is a yearly call to action.
As a social worker, I have taken an oath to help and advocate for those in need. More significantly, in my role in the therapeutic foster care department, the majority of those I engage with often can resemble a brother, sister, uncle, father, or mother of my own and may have experienced some of the same issues I faced throughout my development. Often the children I engage with have shouldered unfair treatment, not only due to the stigma of being placed in foster care but also because of race. I remain committed to treating these children and families with humanity, dignity, and compassion, especially as it relates to the social issue of race within society.
I am heartened by signs of progress. Those I work with in the foster care department strive daily to secure the well-being of the children and foster homes we serve. I respect and appreciate the dedication to change, including but not limited to issues of race, from members within FCA’s Social Justice Workgroup. I’m always amazed to see the fruits of our 9 years of labor! Achievements such as Kamala Harris becoming the first African American and first female Vice President can serve as a catalyst to conversation, reminding our youth of great possibilities despite circumstances.
Let’s continue to celebrate this month for those before us, those of us here now, and those who will come after.
I leave with my signature peace sign and borrow the phrase, “The Marathon Continues!”