Profiles Showcase Latest Class of Children and Family Fellows

Posted October 3, 2019, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2019-21 Cohort of Children and Family Fellows

First-gen­er­a­tion col­lege grad­u­ates. Sur­vivors of child­hood trau­ma. Chil­dren of immi­grants. A new pub­li­ca­tion tells how the lat­est mem­bers of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Chil­dren and Fam­i­ly Fel­low­ship® came to their impor­tant work and shares their hopes for improv­ing poli­cies and pro­grams affect­ing youth in low-income communities.

When she was age 14, Ali­cia Gue­vara War­ren had a friend who has arrest­ed and incar­cer­at­ed, and she dis­cov­ered that 17-year-olds could be sent to adult state prison in Michi­gan. This felt unjust to Gue­vara War­ren and — ever since — she’s been an advo­cate for kids and fam­i­lies in need. The daugh­ter of migrant farm work­ers, Gue­vara War­ren — now the direc­tor of the Kin­ship Care Resource Cen­ter at Michi­gan State Uni­ver­si­ty — fights every day on behalf of fam­i­lies with kids being raised by rel­a­tive caregivers.

Bhar­ti Wahi grew up in a small town — her fam­i­ly mem­bers were the only res­i­dents of col­or — and expe­ri­enced the neg­a­tiv­i­ty of being con­sid­ered oth­er” on a dai­ly basis. As the exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Children’s Defense Fund – Min­neso­ta, she uses her empa­thy for mar­gin­al­ized pop­u­la­tions to fight for jus­tice and right sys­temic wrongs.

Gue­vara War­ren and Wahi are among 15 lead­ers — 11 women and four men from nine states — select­ed for the inten­sive, 21-month exec­u­tive lead­er­ship pro­gram, which the Casey Foun­da­tion launched in 1993.

Meet the Class of 2019 – 21

These lead­ers rep­re­sents a broad range of pro­fes­sion­al inter­ests and back­grounds — from edu­ca­tion, child wel­fare and juve­nile jus­tice to work­force devel­op­ment, hous­ing and com­mu­ni­ty devel­op­ment. Despite this rich range of work, the newest Fel­lows also share a core set of val­ues. They believe that:

  • The peo­ple clos­est to the prob­lem should dri­ve the solutions;
  • Data can both mask and illu­mi­nate entrenched disparities;
  • All chil­dren and youth deserve to thrive, not just sur­vive; and
  • Small solu­tions are not enough.

This polit­i­cal moment, this eco­nom­ic moment, requires us to step into lead­er­ship,” says 2019 – 21 Fel­low Muneer Karcher-Ramos, direc­tor of the city of Saint Paul’s Office of Finan­cial Empow­er­ment. We have to diag­nose and address issues at scale to dri­ve sys­temic change that sets our com­mu­ni­ties up for good results.”

Beyond set­ting and advanc­ing indi­vid­ual objec­tives, the Fel­lows will col­lab­o­rate on a shared issue: ensur­ing that all youth ages 14 – 24 have the nec­es­sary con­nec­tions to school, work and fam­i­ly to achieve equi­table out­comes of suc­cess. This work will involve learn­ing about and apply­ing the com­pe­ten­cies of Results Count™ — Casey’s sig­na­ture approach to lead­er­ship devel­op­ment — to lever­age data and dri­ve deci­sion mak­ing around con­crete goals.

As a Fel­low, I’m part of a group that I can think with, col­lab­o­rate with and build new racial­ly and eth­ni­cal­ly equi­table sys­tems with,” says Regi­na Can­non, chief equi­ty and impact offi­cer at C4 Solutions.

Chil­dren and Fam­i­ly Fel­lows From Pre­vi­ous Classes

Meet the pre­de­ces­sors: The 2016 – 17 Class of Chil­dren and Fam­i­ly Fellows

For­mer Fel­lows in Action: Reduc­ing Home­less­ness in Seattle

For­mer Fel­low in Action: Find­ing New Ways and Part­ner­ships to Help Youth in Trouble

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