2020 brought to light a national focus and conversation on social injustice and systemic racism in our society. We seek not to impart beliefs and values on the young adults we work with, but rather to engage them in conversation and direct them towards resources. At VOCA, our staff creates a safe space and groups to have these discussions, read books such as “Stamped” and “White Fragility,” and learn how to respect one another. These conversations contribute to our young people being able to live harmoniously in our residences.

These conversations empower our young adults to stand up and to speak out for what they believe in. They build relationships with one another within their respective homes based on sensitivity and empathy for what their roommates may be experiencing in their lives. Through conversations about racism, colorism, and bigotry, to dysfunctional relationships with family and friends, our youth create a strong foundation and support system for each other. By creating a safe space for young people to have tough conversations with each other, we provide them the opportunity to thrive and to blossom in a place they can call their home.