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In solidarity: A message from our leadership team

I am so excited about what our community is doing in the Triangle. Every year, I am reminded that God’s abundance and provision are more than I can imagine, even in a time when the world seems so unstable. This dedicated and growing community gives me so much hope. CORRAL, its staff and board, volunteers, and donors include people of all worldviews and walks of life who are ardently supporting our girls.

Over the past few months, we’ve presented the ugly reality that many of our girls are behind in life as a result of the systemic injustices that they or their families have experienced. As a nonprofit, we commit to doing our part of the work of advocating for and instilling racial justice in the Triangle. To that end, we have taken steps to address our own shortcomings. We aim to lead a community that not only advocates for racial justice in our larger context, but internally addresses the biases, privileges and inequities that exist in our own organization.

Over past eight months, we’ve made the following changes to lead an organization that is focused on dismantling racism and promoting racial justice.

  1. We revised our mission and vision statement to care for the most vulnerable in our community {Isaiah 1:17}.
    1. Mission: CORRAL is a faith-motivated nonprofit that equips adolescent girls in high-risk situations through a long-term, holistic program of equine therapy and education to prepare each girl and her community with skills, resources, and opportunities so that she can gain access to a bright future.
    2. Vision: Ending the cycle to intergenerational trauma and systemic marginalization in our community.
  2. We’ve invested in the Kingdom Diversity model developed by CEO, Trainer and Prophetic Strategist Ericka D. James.
  3. We’ve established a Diversity and Equity Task Force to analyze diversity within our extended community and initiate conversations around our own biases and privileges.
  4. We’ve provided safe space for our girls of color to amplify their voices.
  5. We’ve led ‘tough’ conversations around anti-racism work among community members.
  6. We’ve expanded our services to include families as part of our systems-based approach to uncovering the roots of trauma and inequities our girls face.

This work is inextricably tied to delivering our services more effectively and achieving the outcomes we seek year after year. The pandemic only magnified the systemic racial injustices existing within our education system. For example, the vast majority of our high school girls operating at a 3rd–7th grade math level are women of color who pre-pandemic, were merely getting by in school. With the support of our staff and volunteers, we are closing their educational gaps and overall, providing a place for our girls to not just survive, but thrive. I’m thrilled to share the outcomes of this collective effort of our community, including the girls’ hard work and resilience.

  • Our Kildaire Farm Campus girls went into exams with an 85 percent average GPA.
  • More than 70% of them have made As and Bs on their final exams this week.
  • More than 90% of them are on track to meet their emotional intelligence goals.
  • At Neuse River, in just one year, our team launched an all-day program while hiring an Education Manager, moving a building, developing a volunteer team, running Join the Herd and establishing a rigorous Riding Academy program.
  • In just six weeks, the average GPA of our Neuse River girls has increased over 40 points.

What’s to come in the latter part of 2021? We’re not entirely sure yet, but I know that we won’t be returning to the way things were. While some days have been really tough on the ground, especially when we see our girls engage in risky behaviors after several months in the program, our girls finally have a place for a second chance at life. We’re seeing our girls lean into trust, learn, grow and step into their self-worth. The systems-based approach we initiated last year unraveled the complexities of why our girls come to us broken. And now, we’re able to serve our girls in a way that frankly, no other institution has been able to.

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