Small Talk's Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

January 2021

Child abuse is a crime that does not discriminate. All children, regardless of their race, religion, disability, gender, sexual identity, citizenship, or socioeconomic status are at risk for being abused.

The staff at Small Talk are trained professionals who work with traumatized children every single day. To do this work, we must be profoundly hopeful that healing is possible for every child. But we are not naïve to the complexities and contradictions of our work.

Specifically, we are very aware of the compounding effects of systemic racism on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. We are aware that BIPOC are overrepresented in the criminal justice system. And while we are committed to pursuing justice for children who have been sexually and physically abused with our partners in law enforcement, we are also aware that the systems we work in need to change in order become more equitable.

We have secured a multi-thousand-dollar grant from the University United Methodist Church in East Lansing to approach our DEI work and we have established a DEI committee that will help guide the direction of our work into the future. Right now, we have two main priorities: To eliminate barriers to counseling, such as transportation, technology, and translation, and to understand and challenge our internal barriers. We are working with the Truth and Titus Collective in Battle Creek, MI.

We hope that the sessions we complete with these DEI professionals will spark our critical and creative thinking about how to best protect children and support families while bringing about a more just and equitable world. We welcome feedback from the community as we do this work.

Small Talk is guided by the powerful vision of a world where children are safe from abuse. While we’re working towards that, we are dedicated to making our agency a place where every child and family feels safe and respected.