CASA members’ work for social justice honored _lowres

Photo provided by Jennifer Mayer -- At the Martin Luther King Honors Breakfast hosted by the Xi Nu Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. on Jan. 17, fromleft, are Capital Area CASA Executive Director Liz Betz, center, with fraternity brothers, from left, Darron Jenkins, Dion Peeples, Nicholas Turner and Brandon Rashad. CASA was a recipient of the Martin Luther King Social Justice Award.

Capital Area Court Appointed Special Advocates Association was a recipient of the Martin Luther King Social Justice Award given Jan. 17 by the Xi Nu Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. at its Martin Luther King Honors Breakfast at Second Baptist Church.

Awards were given to individuals and organizations that advocate for the community through mentoring, education and political awareness, a news release said. Honorees were recognized for their works in diversity and service in the community.

CASA recruits, trains and supervises community volunteers who advocate for abused and neglected youth living in foster care to help them reach safe, permanent homes, Jennifer Mayer said in a news release. Since the program’s inception in 1992, more than 1,000 volunteers have provided a voice for more than 2,100 children in East Baton Rouge Parish.

As a disproportionate number of black youth are represented in foster care, CASA’s leadership understands the importance of inclusiveness and diversity, she said. The organization promotes these values in governance, management and advocacy.

CASA provides diversity awareness and cultural competency training for its volunteers, board and staff in order to provide culturally sensitive advocacy for abused children.

CASA also strives to maintain diversity among its leadership and volunteer base to reflect the diversity of children served by the organization. CASA has an ongoing need for African-American volunteers, the release said.

For information about CASA, call (225) 379-8598, visit or email