We decided to start this challenge on Juneteenth, which is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. It celebrates African American freedom and promotes knowledge and appreciation of history and culture. As we celebrate how far we’ve come, we also recognize that the deep scars of slavery still exists in systems and people.
Systemic racism prohibits minorities from achieving safety, wealth, quality of education and much more. In this land of the free and the home of the brave, in this country where Thomas Jefferson proclaimed, that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness,” we uphold and stand with our community to recommit to dismantling injustice and remind those with privilege and power that all non-binary, cis and trans gendered men and women; Black, Brown, Indigenous, and other, They, Them and Their are all created equal.
Before you get started, complete this pre-challenge survey to set your intentions and share your goals for the Racial Equity & Social Justice Challenge. We encourage you to refer to the Aspen Institute’s structural racism glossary for key terms and definitions that will come up in this challenge. Please refer to this List of Racial Equity Terms that will also help build your language skills around race.
We want to thank our YWCA sister, YWCA Greater Cleveland for spearheading this challenge, which was inspired by Food Solutions New England. They were the first to adapt an exercise from Dr. Eddie Moore and Debby Irving’s book into the interactive 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge, which launched in 2014.
This challenge will encourage you and give you tools to be an anti-racist. It doesn’t require that you be perfect in any given situation but to be open to different cultures, new ways of thinking, and a willingness to learn. We highly encourage you to have a journal to use as a reflective tool during the daily ACTION challenges. The next 21 days will challenge you to take action and work against racism wherever you find it including, and perhaps most especially, in yourself.
Option 1: Watch this video that explains that, while race and racism have a real significant impact on our lives, race is a social construct that has changed over time. None of the broad categories that come to mind when we talk about race can capture an individual’s unique story. For more information, read this article on how science and genetics are reshaping our understanding of race. Watch this video series reflecting the breadth of experiences about identity in America.
Option 2: Read this article defining Anti Racism and why the term is so powerful. Listen to this podcast where historian Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be An Antiracist, looks at how racist ideology operates in American society.
Option 3: Read about Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Watch this video about today’s Juneteenth holiday and learn how African Americans celebrate June 19 every year to commemorate the actual day enslaved Africans were told they were free.
Take these two self-assessments:
- Checklist for Allies Against Racism, John Raible
- Personal Self-Assessment of Anti-Bias Behavior, Anti-Defamation League
Join in with Social Media
- Follow Wilmington’s Juneteenth Committee Facebook page here.
- Join YWCA’s 21 Day Challenge for Racial Equity and Social Justice Facebook Group
- Anti-Racism Project
- Rachel Ricketts’ Anti-Racism Resources
- Jenna Arnold’s Resources, People to Follow and Books
- About Race Podcast
- 1619, a Podcast from The New York Times
- “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”, Peggy McIntosh
- Juneteenth for Mazie, Floyd Cooper: Children’s Book that explores the Holiday
- Watch this video about the difference between being non-racist and anti-racist.
Today we are going to visit the shameful, complicated, and painful history of Wilmington, NC. It is our hope that today’s exploration will lead you to learn more, visit sites throughout the town, and honor the lives lost. Before the Wilmington Race Riots in 1898, Wilmington stood as a mecca of hope, diversity, and inclusion. Black’s and White’s coexisted peacefully, served on city councils together, lived beside each other, and owned riverfront property. This all came to a bloody and deadly end due to White Supremacists and the only successful Coup d’état in American history. Much of this history did not become public knowledge until the 1990s. Unfortunately, 1898 was only the beginning of years of injustice and unrest.
Options 1: Watch this clip about the Wilmington’s Race Riot of 1898. This short clip will give you a history of what Wilmington looked like before the riots. It also gives you the history of how White Supremacist gathered together to overthrow the government and outlines how they killed Black people and intimidated them to leave Wilmington.
Option 2: Watch Wilmington on Fire, a documentary about the Wilmington Massacre of 1898.
Option 3: Learn about the Wilmington 10 and their wrongful conviction in 1971 during the riots following the assassination of Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the desegregation of New Hanover County Schools. Benjamin Chavis, Connie Tindall, Marvin Patrick, Wayne Morre, Reginald Epps, Jerry Jacobs, James McKoy, Willie Vereen, William Wright Jr., and Ann Shepard, known as the Wilmington 10, were wrongfully convicted and since pardoned by a former governor for the bombing of a white owned grocery store.
- Visit the 1898 Monument and Memorial Park Downtown Wilmington.
- While there, write a 4- line meditation of peace and justice for our community.
- Share your meditation and picture on the 21-Day Challenge YWCA Lower Cape Fear’s Facebook page.
- Volunteer a minute, hour, or longer with Amnesty International and be part of a global movement to stand together for human rights in your community, and across the world.
- Learn more about the Race Riot of 1898 from leaders in our local community. Take a look at the downtown Wilmington map of the events.
- Explore these books on Wilmington: Cape Fear Rising, The True Story Behind the Wilmington Ten, & Wilmington’s Lie.
- Watch this video of advocacy about the push for a pardon for the Wilmington 10.
- Learn how previous Governor Beverly Perdue pardoned the Wilmington 10 after 40 years.
The fight for women’s suffrage was not as straightforward as you might think. Today we will examine the intersections of race and gender and how this is played out during the fight for the 19th Amendment, which gave White women the right to vote in 1920.
Black women participated in the movement, however, they have been erased from the women’s suffrage narrative. Black women fought for the right to vote while facing discrimination from White suffragists who did not want the movement associated with women of color. American activist, Mary Church Terrell said, Black suffragists carried the “double burden” of Blackness and womanhood. Today, we will look back at these pioneering leaders and how they laid the groundwork for universal suffrage and the civil rights movement.
Option 1: Read this article about the Black suffragists who fought for the right to vote, while fighting racist backlash from the movements White leadership, many of whom did not believe that any Black person should have the right to vote before White women.
Option 2: Watch this video that re-frames the way we look at the suffrage movement and encourages us to do more to honor and remember the black women who bravely fought for universal suffrage.
Option 3: Read about five amazing women of color who bravely fought for the abolition of slavery, the rights of women, and civil rights in the United States.
- Listen to this poem from Norma Johnson
- Sign up with Fair Fight, an organization that promotes fair elections around the country, encourages voter participation in elections, and educates voters about elections and their voting rights.
- Intersectionality Matters Podcast, hosted by Kimberle Crenshaw
- Meet the Black suffragists you should have learned about in school. They pioneered the idea of intersectionality more than a century before the term would officially be coined in 1989.
Today, we will explore how voter suppression has changed over time and how it is disenfranchising marginalized communities today. With 2020 being a significant election year, it is important that we recognize the barriers to voting that many people still face and work to eliminate it, so that our representatives and laws reflect our increasingly diverse country.
Option 1: From the 1890s to the 1960s literacy tests were designed to disenfranchise people of color from voting (white men were exempt from these tests). Print out and try to complete this test. Be sure to set a timer before you start, you would have been given 10 minutes to finish. View this interactive timeline of the history of the Voting Rights Act and see how access to the vote has been expanded and restricted over time.
Option 2: Read this article and see how the fight for universal suffrage began and how modern voter suppression tactics continue to deny the vote to people of color.
Option 3: The right of Native Americans to vote in the U.S. elections was not recognized until 1948. Read this article on the systemic barriers to voting that Native Americans face today and what steps are being taken to protect the suffrage of Indigenous people.
From illegal voter purges to hundreds of poll closures to four-hour lines, voter suppression is happening today. In light of COVID-19, you are now able to vote by mail in North Carolina, but you must request a vote by mail ballot. Your action step is to:
- Register to Vote
- Complete the Request for an Absentee Ballot form, and mail it to your county board of elections (address will be on page three of the form).
- Watch the trailer Capturing the Flag: An Unexpected Story about American Democracy Trailer.
- Tell your senators to pass the Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA), which would fill in the gaps left behind by enacting new regulations and oversight procedures. The House has already voted to pass the VRAA — now it’s the Senate’s turn to protect our voting rights.
- Read this article highlighting the role that the Voting Rights Act played in protecting Asian Americans’ voting rights. Until 1952, federal policy barred immigrants of Asian descent from becoming U.S. citizens and having access to the vote.
- 150 years after the 15th Amendment was passed, barriers to voting remain. Learn about how social media, gerrymandering, access to polling places and other strategies have all been used to limit access to the ballot box.
- Click here to learn more about Wilmington’s voter statistics. The information provided does not exceed 2018.
America’s racial tension does not only exist in history, or on football fields, classrooms, or between neighbors. It exists everywhere even in the workplace. Today we will learn how racism shows up in the workplace; how to identify it and stand against it.
Option 1: Watch this short clip to become familiar with microaggressions. Microaggressions are compliments wrapped in discriminating, demeaning or condescending remarks. Check out this list of 21 Racial Microaggressions you hear on a daily basis. Watch this clip on how microaggressions show up in the workplace.
Option 2: Listen to this podcast where Shawn Rodchester teaches about his book The Black Tax. He breaks down how we are at the current place where Blacks only take up 2% of America’s financial wealth. He also informs the listeners on the cost of being Black in America and how biases both conscious and unconscious affect how Black people are unable to attain and build wealth.
Option 3: Listen to this podcast as Black Twitter discusses their discriminatory experiences of microaggressions and racism.
Option 4: Take inventory of your workplace and coworkers. Are your hiring practices fair? Do you skip over applications when names seem challenging? When you look at your co-workers do you see a diverse group? Are their women in leadership? Minorities in leadership? When you hear inappropriate comments do you ignore them or speak up? When brainstorming about ideas, do you hear diversity in opinions? As a leader or manager are you afraid to address something because you do not want to make something into a big deal?
- Explore a few key elements on how to speak up at work.
- Explore how to thoughtfully talk about racial inequity with your coworkers
- Ask your employer to implement bias training and/or organize a group of coworkers to take YWCA’s 21 Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge together.
- If you are in an Human Resources, hiring position, serve on hiring committees, or positions of influence:
- Recruit from areas Historically Black College and Universities (HBCU) to contribute to your employee diversity. Here are a few HBCUs within a 4 hour drive: Fayetteville State University Bennett College for Women,North Carolina Agriculture and Technical State University, North Carolina Central University, Elizabeth City State University, Shaw University and St. Augustine University.
- Download the Fact Sheet and become informed on the wage gap of Black Women.
- 13.9% of women in North Carolina live in poverty. Women in North Carolina typically make $0.83 for every $1.00 to men.
- Learn about employers discriminating based on name. Explore this article that further exposes the Depressing Truth about Names and Racial Bias.
- Podcast: Sincerely Lettie Episode 5: “Wow, you speak so well!”: Tone Policing & Microaggressions
This week we discuss the history and impact of inequity within our education systems. Over 65 years ago the Supreme Court’s ruling in the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education case declared racial segregation unconstitutional. However, today, we see our schools just as, if not more, segregated than in 1954. The result of this continued segregation has perpetuated a lasting negative effect on children and communities of color. Today we will explore that history and its continued and renewed impact on our education systems.
Option 1: Read this article on how busing within school districts was implemented as a way to break segregation’s stranglehold in education and its effect on generations of students. A practice is still in place today in cities like Boston, MA. Read this article for the history of Boston’s METCO program created as a quick fix to desegregate schools.
Option 2: Districts can draw school zones to make classrooms more or less racially segregated. Read this quick article and find your school district to see how well it’s doing.
Option 3: Read this piece to better understand how America has used schools as a weapon against Native Americans. From years of coercive assimilation and historical trauma, generations of Native children find themselves suffering with subpar education outcomes.
Option 4: As the child populations becomes “majority-minority,” racial segregation remains high, income segregation among families with children increases, and the political and policy landscape undergoes momentous change. Take a look at this study on the consequences of segregation for children’s opportunity and well being.
- Read this brief introduction on school segregation and bring together a small group of colleagues, family or friends to participate in one of the six interactive activities.
- Use this template to hold your local school district accountable for racial justice.
- The Forgotten Girls Who Led the School-Desegregation Movement
- School Segregation Is Not a Myth
- Brown at 60: Great Progress, a Long Retreat and an Uncertain Future
- Segregation Now
- The resegregation of America
- New Hanover County Schools: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee
- The Racial Achievement Gap
Congratulations! You have matriculated through the first week of the 21-Day Racial Equity & Social Justice Challenge. Imagine moving from a predominantly white neighborhood in Georgia, to a more diverse school in California, you may not think much about the vast ways in which the exact same material can vary depending on the school, school district, and instructional materials. Today, we examine how textbooks, authors and state legislation, collectively impacts “what we teach” and in turn, society’s world view and understanding of history.
Step 1: Textbooks are supposed to teach us a common set of facts about who we are as a nation, but the influence of religion and politics in instructional material can skew those facts. Read this article to see how history textbooks reflect America’s refusal to reckon with slavery and racial oppression.
Step 2: Half of all school-aged children are non-white1. Of children’s books published in 2013 only 10.5% featured a person of color.2 In 2016, this number doubled to 22%, but white is still the “default identity.”3 Read this article to consider ways in which some educators are reconstructing the canon. Canon is defined as a collection or list of sacred books accepted as genuine.
- Just how racist is children’s literature? The author of “Was the Cat in the Hat Black?” explains.
- Children’s Books: Still an All-White World?
- New English Requirement Fuels Debate Over Canon
Step 3: Very few states require Holocaust education in their school systems and a 2018 survey showed that two-thirds of U.S. Millenials were not familiar with Auschwitz. Read this article on how one state hopes to change that statistic, during a surge of anit-Semitic hate crimes.
- How a Graphic Novel Resurrected a Forgotten Chapter in America’s History
- Anne Frank, and America’s dangerously shallow understanding of the Holocaust
- When Affirmative Action Was White, Ira Katznelson
- “The Startlingly Profound (Yet Simple) Question My Daughter Asked About Racism, Jennifer Harvey
- “Why White Parents Must Teach Their Children About Racism”
- The Windows and Mirrors of Your Child’s Bookshelf, Grace Lin TEDTalk
- Read about ten ways well-meaning teachers bring racism into our schools, and then take an Implicit Association Test (IAT) to report your attitudes and beliefs about certain topics to understand our own internalized bias.
- In your journal write about your first encounter with racisim (from either privilege or discrimination) by reflecting on how it made you feel and how you will seek not to be a catalyst for others to experience it. Post the title of your entry on our Facebook Group using: #21DayFirstEncounter
As individuals interested in learning more about racial equity, you’ve likely heard of the term “school-to-prison pipeline,” (if you have not, check out this infographic made by the ACLU). Most notably this term is tied to the systems that funnel Black boys out of school and into prison at alarming rates. Today, we will explore how school disciplinary policies disproportionately affect Black students including Black girls. Stereotypes and misperception, which view Black girls as older, more mature and more aggressive have led to a lesser-discussed trend, the adultification of Black girls.
Option 1: Out of school suspensions have doubled since the 1970s and continue to increase even though juvenile crimes continued to drop. Watch this quick video which explains the school-to-prison pipeline.
Option 2: Across the country, Black girls are six times more likely to be suspended than white girls. Check out this study to better understand how Black girls are being pushed out of school.
Option 3: By age 9, the behaviors of Black girls are often seen as and treated more like adults than children. This study shows the erasure of Black girls’ childhood, particularly ages 9-11 as it pertains to discipline in school.
Option 4: In this interactive data-set, you can plug in your school system and those around you to investigate whether there is racial inequality at your school.
The school-to-prison pipeline is a disturbing national trend. This is enabled by policies and practices from the school, district, state and federal level. Today we will make an action step towards dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline from the point of suspension to the point of youth incarceration.
- Do some research about your school district and invest in early learning programs, health food access, safe stress, counselors not cops in schools, restorative justice, and ending youth incarceration.
- Attend a school board meeting (New Hanover County School board meets the first Tuesday of every month). Share with your county how you STAND against any policies or behavior that perpetuates the school-to-prison pipeline.
Yesterday we challenged ourselves to look deeper into the ways in which school disciplinary policies disproportionately affect children of color and Black girls. Unconscious biases in white teachers, who favor a “colorblind” approach may cause unintentional harm to their students, while the early acknowledgement of differences can prepare students for a diverse world. Today, let’s look at the early impact teachers have on students’ educational outcomes and their likelihood to attend college as well as let’s challenge ourselves to consider some of the barriers that minorities face in attaining a college degree. Standardized tests designed to keep students of color and women out, the adversities poor Brown and Black students experience while on campus and the economic turmoil graduates of color face in repaying their loans, are all a part of a flawed higher education system.
Option 1: Watch this video that illustrates how some California preschools are getting children to participate in conversations about racial differences at an early age.
Option 2: K through 6 classrooms are led by a primarily white, female teacher population, who’s inherent biases often come into play in their approaches to children and teaching. Read this interview with Dr. Robin DiAngelo, author and YWCA’s 2020 It’s Time for Equity speaker, on white fragility in teaching and education.
Option 3: Black students who had just one black teacher by third grade were 13% more likely to enroll in college. Check out this article on how the role-model effect can potentially shrink the educational achievement gap.
Option 4: Carl Brigham, the creator of the original SAT believed that American education was declining and “will proceed with an accelerating rate as the racial mixture becomes more and more extensive.” Watch this video on how standardized tests were designed by racists and eugenicists.
- Challenge the Canon. Who decides what books are worthy of study and which voices are included in the literary canon? Listen to this podcast and then send this list to your child’s educators (teachers, principals, school board) and ask them to broaden representation in the classroom readings, embrace tough conversations, match words to actions, and commit to constant self reflection and admit our own bias.
- Institutional racism shows up in both formalized and informal ways. Watch this 3 minute video that sums up institutional racism in the U.S. To disrupt institution racism, it is helpful to name it, and also helpful to understand where you are on your journey to being anti-racism/pro-equitable. Then use this template to hold your academic institution accountable for racial justice.
- White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Race, Dr. Robin DiAngelo
- Watch Neil deGrasse Tyson on Being Black and Women in Science
- Malcolm Gladwell’s Podcast on how schools can support the achievements of Black students
- The Rite Effect Consulting Group
- Twelve years after starting college, white men have paid off 44% of their student loans, while black women owe 13% more. Read this article to better understand how the student debt crisis has hit black students especially hard.
- While popular misconception characterizes Asians as the most educated minority group in the U.S., Southeast Asian American students experience serious educational inequalities that are often masked due to their categorization as “Asian.”
Every 10 years the federal government counts every person living in the United States. Today, we learn about the census’ history, why people of color are routinely undercounted, and how this unsung program impacts the lives of every American without most of them even realizing it.
Option 1: Read this article about how the census was historically used as a tool to silence people of color. You’ll learn how certain tactics continue today and why the debate over adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census may depress engagement from the Latinx community.
Option 2: Watch this video about the challenges facing the 2020 census and how failing to accurately count the population would threaten the integrity of the country’s most authoritative dataset that drives public policy.
Option 3: Listen to YWCA USA’s Organize Your Butterflies podcast about their YWomenCount campaign to encourage everyone to participate in the 2020 census.
Option 4: Read this article from University Hospitals about the importance of counting children in the 2020 census and its impact on driving health policy.
- Make sure that you, your family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers have all completed the 2020 census. Learn more about the census and why it is important that you participate.
- Post about a picture of the census on social media and challenge all of your friends and followers to do the same. Use when posting: #YWCA21DAYCENSUS #Census2020 #YWCALowerCapeFear
Today we will discuss criminal justice reform. Policing is an important aspect in keeping our community safe. A pertinent aspect to that safety must be centered around equity and equality with a present and historical understanding of culture. Biases within the criminal justice system is not a new phenomenon, however, in recent years the impact of these biases on communities of color has been highlighted in the media, creating national movements around criminal justice reform. Today we learn about the damaging and often fatal effects of bias, brutality, and over-policing.
Option 1: In communities in which people have more racial biases, Black men and women are being killed more by police, than their White counterparts. Listen to this podcast to see how data is used to pinpoint where disproportionate shootings of minorities were most likely.
Option 2: Stanford University researchers found that Black and Latino drivers were stopped more often than White drivers, based on less evidence of wrongdoings. Read this study to uncover the extent of this evidence, which is driven by racial bias.
Option 3: Following the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014, The Washington Post began creating a database cataloging every fatal shooting nationwide by a police officer in the line of duty. View the data. Sometimes fatal shootings by police are connected to conspiracies such as body camera footage turned off, missing police reports, recanted stories, etc. such as in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor.
One Minute Meditation:
We offer you this one minute meditation to connect with the unnecessary loss of life. (Each link provides an article describing the circumstances of their murders.)
This 1- minute meditation action should be done in a private, quiet place.
Say her name: Breonna Taylor and be silent for 10 seconds.
Say his name: Michael Brown and be silent for 10 seconds.
Say his name: Tony McDade and be silent for 10 seconds.
Say his name: Tamir Rice and be silent for 10 seconds.
Say her name: Sandra Bland and be silent for 10 seconds.
Say his name: George Floyd and be silent for 10 seconds.
Many others have lost their lives in police custody: Black and Brown Trans, Latino immigrants, and even children detained in ICE custody. Despite each circumstance they were human beings; living, breathing, born and now dead. They are loved, they are missed, they existed and their lives mattered. Black Lives Matter.
We continue to learn about the bias within the criminal justice system. Today we focus on this history of mass incarceration and explore the impact of mass incarceration on Black families. It is well-documented that Black Americans, particularly Black men; who are arrested, charged, and incarcerated at disproportionately high rates compared to White Americans. Only when we are able to fully understand the issues in our criminal justice system and to track effectiveness of certain interventions will we be able to make meaningful progress on criminal justice system reform.
Option 1: Watch this video on mass incarceration to understand how for certain demographics of young Black men, the current inevitability of prison has become a sort-of normal life event.
Option 2: Despite the portrayal of Black fathers as absent in the upbringing of their children, Black dads are more likely to engage in a variety of activities with their children on a daily basis over White and Hispanic fathers. Read this article on dispelling the stereotypical portrayal of Black fathers.
Option 3: The existence of racial disparity in the criminal justice system has a ripple effect on nearly every other social system. Read this article and infographic to learn about some solutions that chip away at those racial disparities.
Hundreds of thousands of legally innocent people languish in jails on any given day simply because they cannot afford bail. Learn how bail reform could save millions of unconvicted people from jail. Donate to the Community Justice Exchange: National Bail Fund. This fund assists in freeing people by paying their bails or bond while also trying to end the monetary bail system and pretrial detention.
- “Life After ‘The New Jim Crow’”
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, Michelle Alexander
- “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration”
- Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2020
- “What Incarceration Costs Cities”
- 9 Movies and Shows that Explain How America’s Justice System Got This Way
- Racial Disparity, The Sentencing Project
Over the past 30 years, the trend of confining more women to federal, state, and local correctional facilities has exploded at an increase of 700%. Today we will discuss how anecdotal and antiquated healthcare policies, harsher disciplinary consequences and unmet needs, while incarcerated and post-release, perpetuates a cycle of generational imprisonment, poverty and trauma for women and families.
Option 1: A recent study of 22 U.S. state prison systems and all U.S. federal prisons, found that roughly 3.8% of the women in their sample were pregnant when they entered prison. Read the article to see how prisons neglect pregnant women in their healthcare policies.
Option 2: Listen to this investigation by NPR and the Medill School of Journalism who find that prisons across the U.S. often give disproportionately harsher punishments for minor offenses to women than men.
Option 3: Read this article on the cycle of poverty, trauma and the unmet needs of women in jail after release, to understand how the criminal justice system exploits the poor and vulnerable.
Option 4: Read this article which outlines the barriers formerly incarcerated people face when looking for unemployment.
The Marshall Project has been curating some of the best criminal justice reporting from around the web. You will find the most recent and most authoritative articles on the topics, people, and events that are shaping criminal justice conversation. Check out LINC, Inc., a non-profit organization in Wilmington that provides transitional living and case management services to meet the immediate needs of men and women returning from prison, for resources and volunteer opportunities.
- Read Orange is the New Black, by Piper Kerman
- Listen to “From Where She Stands” Podcast
- “Locked up and vulnerable: When prison makes things worse”
- Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM)
- Justice Involved Women Programs, National Institute of Corrections
- Database provides a place where practitioners, policymakers, and community members can find information on programs and services for women in the criminal justice system. Search by state.
- Maryam Henderson-Uloho was convicted of obstruction of justice, she was sentenced to 25 years in a Louisiana prison. Ultimately, she served 13 years — more than half of that time in solitary confinement. When she was released she felt dehumanized. Watch this story of what happens to formerly incarcerated women, and how Maryam Henderson-Uloho turned her life around, and how she continues to support other female ex-offenders.
- Watch the Innocence Files on Netflix.
Let’s keep the momentum going. We are wrapping up the second week of the 21 Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge! Today we focus on public health. Racism is a public health issue. People of color suffer worse health outcomes than White people, even when controlling for income, education, and other factors. We look at why these disparities are not about race, but racism. Today, we talk about the impact of toxic stress caused by daily exposure to discrimination on the health of people of color.
Option 1: Watch this TEDTalk from David R. Williams who developed a scale to measure the impact of discrimination on well-being, going beyond traditional measures like income and education to reveal how factors like implicit bias, residential segregation and negative stereotypes create and sustain inequality. Williams presents evidence for how racism is producing a rigged system — and offers hopeful examples of programs across the U.S. that are working to dismantle discrimination.
Option 2: Listen to this podcast about the effect of chronic stress from frequent racist encounters on the health outcomes of people of color. This article also features a case study on how a large-scale ICE raid in Iowa impacted the health of pregnant Latinx women across the state.
Option 3: Read this article about how the mental burdens of bias, trauma, and family hardship lead to unequal life outcomes for girls, women, and particularly girls and women of color.
- The time is NOW to declare racism a public health crisis in our communities. BIPOC have been subjected to discrimination, fallen victim to the effects of racism, and endured inadequate housing and unequal and unjust education and health care services for far too long. Write a letter to your local elected officials urging them to declare racism a public health crisis. Find your elected officials here.
- Choose one journal entry to write and share with us on Facebook
- What day has impacted your thoughts the most?
- What article have you disagreed with?
- What Action Step have you enjoyed the most?
- If you were locked up innocently, write a letter to a family member expressing your disbelief in the system convicting you. (Based responses off The Innocence Files on Netflix)
- Listen to this episode of Code Switch, “Coping While Black: A Season of Traumatic News Takes A Psychological Toll”
- Self-Reported Experiences of Discrimination and Health: Scientific Advances, Ongoing Controversies, and Emerging Issues
- “I’ve Spent Months Fighting Coronavirus in the E.R. Police Violence Is What Really Scares Me,” Dr. Darien Sutton-Ramsey for GQ Magazine
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America is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, but of wealthiest countries, it is also one of the most dangerous for birthing mothers. This is due to the dramatic racial disparities in maternal and infant mortality. Toxic stress and racial bias in medical care mean that women of color are three to four times, say that again, three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than White women. Racism is a public health crisis and it is time to treat it as such.
Option 1: In the U.S., Black babies die at twice the rate of White babies. Read the article about the infant mortality gap and what Black doulas are doing to change it. Be informed on statistics on Infant Mortality in the United States, 2017: Data From the Period Linked Birth/Infant Death
Option 2: Watch this interview featuring Stacey D. Steward, the President and CEO of March of Dimes, where she and her co-panelists grapple with the growing maternal health crisis, and how to provide every mother the best care.
Option 3: Read this article on how the negative impact of institutional racism on maternal and infant mortality for Native American women closely parallels that of African American women.
Option 4: Choose an article to read about Black Maternal health. This international website offers articles and resources to both expecting mothers and those interested in learning more about maternal health.
- Black mothers face serious obstacles in accessing maternal health care, leading to poor maternal health outcomes and persistent racial disparities. Learn about Sister Song and the Center for Reproductive Rights who founded Black Mamas Matter Alliance and see how you can get involved.
- Follow @theblackobgynproject on Instagram.
- Look up Anarcha, Betsy, and Lucy – the true Mothers of Gynecology.
- “Nothing Protects Black Women From Dying in Pregnancy and Childbirth”
- “Exploring African Americans’ High Maternal and infant Death Rates
- “Serena Williams on Motherhood, Marriage, and Making Her Comeback”
- How Racism May Cause Black Mothers To Suffer The Death Of Their Infants
- “Coming Soon” Infant Mortality Task Force of the Port City
- Watch Judge Glenda Hatchett share about the death of her daughter-in-law after giving birth
The history of the exploitation, brutalization, and mutualization of people of color by doctors is one of America’s most tragic and largely untold stories. Thanks to the work of people like Harriet Washington, author of Medical Apartheid, there is a new willingness to grapple with the impact of this trauma. Knowing our past is the first step towards a more equitable future.
Option 1: Watch this video about the history of institutional racism in American medicine and how racists beliefs and practices from the 18th-century are still leading to adverse health outcomes for people of color today.
Option 2: Listen to this podcast about the United States Supreme Court ruling, Black vs. Bell, which institutionalized the racist eugenics movement and led to 70,000 forced sterilizations of people of color and people with physical and mental disabilities.
Option 3: Read this article about how racist stereotypes led to approximately 20,000 people — many of them Latinx — being forcibly sterilized in California and how this echoed in the political landscape today.
- If you did not take the action step on Day 16 to contact your local elected officials to urge them to declare racism a public health crisis, do it today. Find your elected officials here.
- Take some quiet time to get centered and to consider all you’ve learned so far with your participation in the 21 Day Challenge. Check in with yourself. What do you feel? How are you physically? Intellectually? Emotionally? Spiritually?
- Check in with someone else about where they are in their Challenge journey and work for racial equity and social justice.
Have you ever been to the doctor and have them tell you that the pain or discomfort you are feeling isn’t real or isn’t serious? Do you worry that in an emergency unconscious bias could delay a life-saving care for you or a loved one? If you are a person of color this is an all to common experience. Today we are learning how a history of racism in American medicine, combined with unconscious bias from health care professionals is impacting the quality of care that people of color receive today.
Option 1: Watch this interview with Harriet Washington, author of Medial Apartheid, who talks about how historical roots of bias and abuse in modern healthcare towards people of color, especially Black Americans.
Option 2: Read this article about the dangerous racial and ethnic stereotypes that still exist in medicine today and how they impact the care that people of color receive from their healthcare providers.
Option 3: Listen to this podcast about how unconscious bias becomes dangerous in emergency medical situations where providers are much more likely to default to making decisions based on stereotypes.
Once people begin to learn about white privilege and America’s systems of oppression through history, people often ask, “why didn’t I see this sooner?” It’s easy to overlook what we’re not looking for. Once you understand the phenomenon of selective noticing, take yourself on a noticing adventure. Take a moment and honestly journal the answers these questions:
Your answers should spark conversation and change. Join us on Facebook to talk about the answers.
- Who is and is not represented in ads?
- Who are your ten closest friends? What is the racial mix of this group?
- What percentage of the day are you able to be with people of your own racial identity?
- What are the last five books you read? What is the racial mix of the authors?
- Who is filling what kinds of jobs/social roles in your world? (e.g Who is the store manager and who is stocking the shelves? Who is waiting on tables and who’s busing the food?)
- As you move through the day, what’s the racial composition of the people around you?
- Notice your neighborhood. How is the housing arranged? Who lives near the downtown commerce area and who does not? Who lives near the beach and who does not? Can you correlate any of this to racial identity?
- Racism Is Literally Bad For Your Health
- Native Americans Feel Invisible In U.S. Health Care System
- Examining Racial Disparities Observed During Coronavirus Pandemic
- Local Health Care businesses commitment to diversity and inclusion:
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A large part of our health is determined by our environment. For generations, the impact of pollution and environment damage has largely fallen on marginalized communities. Systemically racist policies have resulted in people of color having an increased likelihood of exposure to unsafe drinking water, lead paint in homes, and industrial waste. Today, we look at the environmental justice movement and the people of color pushing for change.
Option 1: Watch this video about how systemic racism means that Black communities face disproportionate rates of lead poisoning, asthma, and environmental harm.
Option 2: Read about the climate crisis’s disproportionate impacts on Indigenous communities, and how Indigenous people have been at the forefront of the fight against the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure and other environmental injustices.
Option 3: Watch this interview with scientists and philosopher Vandana Shiva where she links environmental activism to social justice and how that intersection can help us find common humanity.
Option 4: Read about the history of the problems with water quality in Navassa, NC. Our community is currently aware of Gen-X that is currently in the water. We encourage you to learn about the Port City’s history with environmental racism.
- Fighting Environmental Racism in North Carolina
- A True Game Changer: Toxic Waste and Race 30 Years Later — An Interview with Charles Lee
- Toxic Waste and Race in the United States, National Report on the Racial and Socio-Economic Characteristics of Communities with Hazardous Waste Sites
- Race, Wealth, and Solid Waste Facilities in North Carolina
- EPA Concludes Environmental Racism Is Real
With the recent passing of the Supreme Court’s ruling protecting LGBTQ workers from discrimination, its important to continue the dialogue on equity and inclusivity. Inclusion applies to sexual orientation and gender identity not just race and class. Those who identify as or are Allies of the LGBTQAI community have pushed legislators and people around the world to use inclusive language, have inclusive and non discriminatory practices and policies. Appropriate language is important such as the use of inclusive pronouns such as using “they, them, and their” when not knowing how one’s gender identity, to including your personal use of pronouns for example:
Quinn Smith, YWCA Program Coordinator (She/her/ hers)
Language, policies, and practices are just the beginning steps in being inclusive. The following steps will assist you in becoming aware of the discriminatory practices that exclusion brings.
Option 1: Do you know what LGBTAQI stands for? Is it appropriate to ask someone their sexual orientation? The answer to that second question is an absolute NO. Please read some more FAQs concerning the LGBTQAI community.
Option 2: Learn more about the violent killings of Trans People around the country. Advocates began tracking the violent killings. Some of their murders have been solved but unfortunately many have not. The violent killing of trans women disproportionately affects women of color. Often their cases are under reported due to filing them incorrectly.
Option 3: Take a look at the Safe Zone Project to learn more about how to provide safe space to discuss gender and sexuality.
Option 4: Read about the alarming statistics concerning LGBTQAI Youth. Suicide attempts and suicide ideation are 4.5 times higher than heterosexual youth. 71% of LGBT youth have reported experiencing discrimination based on their gender identity and sexual orientation. You will also learn that many of these youth need safe space. Learn how to create safe space for youth by taking the 2-hour safe Zone training located in the action step.
- Take a 2-hour Safe Zone Training
- Add your pronouns to your email signature
- Use appropriate pronouns when talking. ***Remember to use “they, them, or their” when you are unsure of which pronoun is appropriate.
The Racial Equity Institute located in Greensboro, North Carolina provides several training and research around systems of inequality. Recently, they conducted a Groundwater Approach here in Wilmington for New Hanover County teachers and community leaders. The training discusses how discrimination and racism affects every American system. They also reveal how the disparities that exist in each system are alarming affecting Black and Brown people and its costs. On this second to last day of our 21-Day Challenge, we will review the alarming statistics, each system, and work toward eliminating them.
Journal entry: If you could eliminate one racial disparity what would it be? & why? Share your response on our Facebook group. Use #21Dayeliminate
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You’ve reached the end of the 21 Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge! YWCA of the Lower Cape Fear would like to thank you for your commitment and participation. This Challenge was designed to create dedicated time and space to build more effective social justice habits, particularly those dealing with issues of race, power, privilege, and leadership.
We would also like to extend a big thank you to our sister YWCA Greater Cleveland for spearheading and inspiring this Challenge. They laid the groundwork and footprint for us to bring this challenge to the Lower Cape Fear.
It is said that it takes 21 days to form a habit. When we began this Challenge on Juneteenth, our goal was to provide valuable content and facilitate meaningful discussions within our community around current issues of injustice and inequity. It is our hope that this Challenge has encouraged you to adopt new thoughts and habits when it comes to racial equity and social justice, and spark a renewed commitment and energy to the fight for a more just and equitable society.
In addition to your commitment and education to adopt new habits that empower and equip you to confront issues of racial equity and social justice, it is our sincere hope that you engage and TAKE ACTION. In addition to the action alerts presented throughout the last 21 days, we urge you to find opportunities to work on behalf of those vulnerable groups.
If you have not read or interacted with each piece of content from this year’s challenge, now is a great time to go back and engage, and keep the conversation going. Discuss with your family, friends, and neighbors.
Our YWCA holds signature events throughout the year to address racism. Our signature campaign, Stand Against Racism, occurs every April, where we join with our sister YWCA’s and YWCA USA to take a collective Stand Against Racism. Four times a year we host Potlucks for Peace in an effort to impact peaceful change in the community through food, fellowship, and enriching dialogue. Every October we participate in Week Without Violence, which is part of a global movement to end violence against women and girls.
Again, thank you for completing the 21 Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge. We ask you to stand with YWCA and continue your commitment to this hard, uncomfortable work. We will hold each other accountable in this collective fight against racial injustice. We stand together.
Join our Facebook Live on Thursday, July 16th at 6 PM ET for a youth panel discussion on racial justice and the impact of coronavirus. This event is our Potluck for Peace, Youth Edition, where the community joins together in food, fellowship, and enriching dialogue. Hear from our youth in this powerful conversation about change, acceptance, and awareness.
- 16th Street Bombing: The killing of 4 Little Girls
- Immanuel Church Shooting
- Watch the Documentary: The Rape of Recy Taylor
- Tulsa, OK Black Wall Street
- Showing Up for Racial Justice Toolkit
- Anti-Racism Resources for White People
- 75 Things White People Can Do For Racial Justice
- Resources for White People to Learn and Talk About Race
- Ted Talk: Let’s get to the root of racism
Diversity & Inclusion
- UNCW’s LGBTQAI Exhaustive Wilmington Resource List
- A Guide to Allyship, a project created by Amélie Lamont
- Why All Parents Should Talk With Their Kids About Social Identity
- Becoming an Ally
- 21-Day Challenge Reading List
- White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
- White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
- White Mom to Racist: Don’t use my child to further your hate-filled ignorance
- Why are all the Black Kids sitting together in the Cafeteria?
- Blood done signed my name
- The Blood of Emmit Till
- Right to Ride: Streetcar Boycotts and African American Citizenship
- Radio Free Dixie
- Worse Than Slavery: Parchman Farm and the Ordeal of Jim Crow