BEFORE YOU GET STARTED - 21 Day Challenge Warm Up
If you haven’t already done so, please fill out this pre-event survey to set your intentions and share your goals for the challenge with us.
We are grateful to Dr. Eddie Moore and Debby Irving who initially created the interactive exercise, “21-Day Racial Equity Challenge,” and to YWCA Greater Cleveland, the first among our YWCA partners nationwide to offer the challenge.
OPTION 1. Watch this video that explains that, while race and racism have a real and significant impact on our lives, race is a social construct and one 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)
OPTION 2. Read this article defining anti-racism and why the term is so powerful. If you are ready for a deep dive, you can listen to the podcast featuring historian Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to be An Antiracist. (READ)
OPTION 3. Watch this video about the difference between being non-racist and anti-racist. YWCA’s 21-Day Challenge will encourage you and give you tools to be an anti-racist, because it doesn’t require that you always know the right thing to say or do in any given situation. It asks that you take action and work against racism wherever you find it including, and perhaps most especially, in yourself. (WATCH)
WEEK 1. ECONOMIC JUSTICE
“It’s a cruel jest to say to a bootless man that he ought to lift himself up by his own bootstraps.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
In an interview given 11 months before his assassination, Dr. King discussed economic justice as the single most pressing civil rights issue not only for Black Americans, long disenfranchised since Emancipation, but also Puerto Ricans, Mexican Americans, and poor Whites.
This week we explore economic justice, which impacts every aspect of life from jobs to housing to education, food security, health, and mortality rates for Black Americans and other people of color.
Today we take a step back in history to learn how the origins of wealth in the U.S. are rooted in the slavery economy and the long-term negative impact this has had on the lives of Black Americans.
OPTION 1. Read this article to learn how slavery was inextricably linked to wealth creation in the U.S., how the slavery economy of the South was deeply tied financially to the North and Great Britain, and how violence and family separations were used to maximize profits off the backs of African-Americans. (READ)
OPTION 2. The U.S. slave trade transformed the fortunes of White families and led to a more prosperous America built on the backs of African slaves. This personal story from the descendants of George DeWolfe, a slave trader actively involved in the “triangle trade” (England-Africa-the Americas), discusses their efforts to ensure we never forget its lasting influence on our nation. (WATCH)
OPTION 3. After the Civil War, the U.S. enlisted the counsel of Black leaders, led by Garrison Frazier, to decide how to best support the millions of newly freed Black Americans. Listen to this story about reparations in the form of the “40 Acres and a Mule” that were promised during Reconstruction, then tragically stripped away. (LISTEN)
OPTION 4. The Great Migration is the largest movement ever of any ethnic group in or to the United States. Black Americans fled the racism of the south in droves, resulting in a backlash from Whites who often resorted to arrests and violence to keep them from leaving. Read this story about the health implications that accompanied the greater economic and educational opportunities they found in the north. (READ)
Option 5. In 1923, an angry White Mob went on a brutal rampage of Rosewood, Florida, a prosperous Black community. The massacre came on the heels of the “Red Summer” of 1919 and had long-lasting effects that continue to this day. (READ)
Wealth in the U.S. is determined largely by home and property ownership. And where you live impacts the schools you attend, how much money you can ever hope to make, the role models you see, and how long you’ll live. Today we dig into housing issues and the devastating effects “redlining” has had on Black and Brown communities.
OPTION 1. This brief video outlines the history of “redlining” in the United States and the social, criminal justice and educational impact it has had on the lives of Black Americans and other people of color. (WATCH)
OPTION 2. Check out this historical timeline of the City of Miami that looks at housing discrimination over a 60-year period. (READ)
OPTION 3. Check out this interactive map created from a collaboration of four universities that shows redlining during the New Deal. Click on Miami and other cities to see how neighborhoods were graded and note the racist language used to categorize inhabitants. (VIEW)
OPTION 4. Learn about the racial wealth gap in the U.S. and hear Senator Cory Booker’s personal story about housing discrimination and how home ownership changed his family’s life. (WATCH)
According to the Center for American Progress, African-American families have a fraction of the wealth of White families, leaving them more economically insecure and with far fewer opportunities for economic mobility. It is an inequity that impacts all of us: By 2028, the cost of the Black-White racial wealth gap alone is estimated to cost the U.S. economy more than $1 trillion. Today we look at the disparities in wealth, their impact, and opportunities to end them.
OPTION 1. In this video, wealth equity strategist Kedra Newsom Reeves uses her own family history over four generations to explain the pervasiveness of wealth disparity, then offers four solutions that could be taken immediately to close the racial wealth gap. (WATCH)
OPTION 2. According to this in-depth article by the Miami Herald exploring wealth disparity and housing discrimination, South Florida remains separate and unequal for Black residents. (READ)
OPTION 3. Higher wages alone will not close the racial wealth gap, especially for low-wage earners. As this report reveals, a small increase in earnings can result in a decrease in public effects. Check out the introduction of the report, then click on other sections of interest to learn more about the “benefits cliff.” (READ)
OPTION 4. In this podcast on rethinking Black wealth, Dr. Andre Perry flips the conversation on closing the wealth gap from one of “victim blaming” to one centered around the intentional devaluing of assets held by Black Americans. (LISTEN)
Today we learn about racism in employment, wage gaps, and the lack of access and opportunity that harms women of color, their families, and the economy.
OPTION 1. The wage gap for women of color will not close for hundreds of years and is believed to have grown more dire in the face of COVID-19. The charts and graphs in this update from the American Association of University Women shows the pandemic’s impact on women’s economic security. (VIEW)
OPTION 2. Hispanic women in Florida earn only 60 cents for every dollar earned by a White, non-Hispanic male. While Florida has one of the smallest gaps in the nation, the difference amounts to thousands of dollars that could be used for housing, food, and other services. (READ)
OPTION 3. The passage of Amendment 2 in Florida increased the minimum wage to $15. Black and Brown women are expected to benefit immediately, but some believe the measure will ultimately hurt workers. Read and reflect on how Amendment 2 might help or harm women of color. (READ)
OPTION 4. The racial retirement gap puts people of color at higher risk for economic insecurity when they retire. Systemic racism – especially in housing and wages – impacts their ability to save. Read how access to capital, the proposed Economic Justice Act, and other efforts could help. (READ)
OPTION 5. This talk offers insight into the racism women of color in leadership positions experience in the workplace and discusses why they must continue to walk in their power. (WATCH)
Black businesses create jobs, spur development, and lift up the neighborhoods they serve. Today we look at Black entrepreneurism as a way to close the racial wealth gap, the impact of the pandemic, Black women entrepreneurs, and opportunities institutions are taking to right historic wrongs.
OPTION 1. The median net-worth for Black business owners is 12 times higher than that of non-business owners. Read about this study on Black entrepreneurship and the opportunities business ownership offers to close the racial wealth gap. (READ)
OPTION 2. Watch this interview on how disparities have heightened the negative impact of the pandemic on Black and Latino business owners, and efforts underway to support them. (WATCH)
OPTION 3. Read about the new Center for Black Innovation in Miami, which received a $2 million investment to support its efforts to increase entrepreneurship in the Black community. (READ)
OPTION 4. Check out these 2020 trends for Black entrepreneurs, which include their confidence level in the political climate, demographic data, and the challenges they face. Click here to read about the state of African-American owned businesses. (VIEW)
OPTION 5. Serial entrepreneur, inventor, and activist Dawn Dickson was the first Black woman to raise a million dollars through crowdfunding, bypassing traditional investors and reaching out to the Black community. Watch her story. (WATCH)
LEVEL 1: Every FDIC-insured bank is examined regularly to rate how well they’re supporting communities of color, including small business loans, affordable housing, etc., as required by the Community Reinvestment Act. Learn more about the CRA, then check out how well your bank stacks up here.
LEVEL 2: Give to organizations like the Center for Business Innovation or contact them about lending your expertise in finance, marketing, or other business areas to the Black entrepreneurs they support.
LEVEL 3: Don’t think your bank is doing enough to support Black communities or that its exams demonstrate continued discrimination in mortgage lending? Move your money to a bank that does – and tell your previous banker why.
WEEK 2. EDUCATION
Welcome to week two of the 21-Day Racial Equity & Social Justice Challenge. This week we will discuss the history and impact of inequity within our education systems. More than 65 years ago the landmark ruling in the Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court case declared racial segregation unconstitutional, yet today we see our schools just as segregated, if not more, than in 1954. 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 education in the United States.
OPTION 1. Read this article on how busing within school districts was implemented as a way to break segregation’s stranglehold within education and its effect on generations of students. Find out how in 2020, we find our schools once again segregated. (READ)
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. (READ)
OPTION 3. Read this quick 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 from subpar education outcomes. (READ)
OPTION 4. As the child population becomes “majority-minority,” racial segregation remains high, income segregation among families with children increases, and the political and policy landscape undergoes momentous change. Check out this study on the consequences of segregation for children’s opportunity and well being. (READ)
If you’ve ever changed schools in the middle of the year, you may be able to recall minor differences in curriculum between districts. However, imagine moving from a predominately White high school in Texas 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 a pupil’s school, school district, and instructional materials. Today we will examine how textbooks, authors, and state legislation, collectively “what we teach,” impacts society’s world view and understanding of history.
OPTION 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. (READ)
OPTION 2. Half of all school-aged children are non-White. Of children’s books published in 2013, though, only 10.5 percent featured a person of color. In 2016, this number doubled to 22 percent, but White is still the “default identity.” Read this article to consider ways in which some educators are reconstructing the canon. (READ)
OPTION 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 this surge of anti-Semitic hate crimes. (READ)
As individuals interested in learning more about racial equity, you’ve likely heard of the term “school-to-prison pipeline,” (if you haven’t, check out this infographic created by 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 learn more about how school disciplinary policies disproportionately affect Black students, including Black girls. Stereotypes and misperceptions, 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 crime has continued to drop. Watch this quick video which explains the school-to-prison pipeline. (WATCH)
OPTION 2. By age 9, the behaviors of Black girls are often seen as and treated more like that of adults than children. Peruse this study on the erasure of Black girls’ childhood, particularly pages 9-11 as it pertains to discipline in school. (READ)
OPTION 3. 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. (VIEW)
Yesterday we challenged ourselves to look deeper into the ways in which school disciplinary policies disproportionately affect children of color and Black girls. Today, let’s take a look at the early impact teachers have on student’s educational outcomes and their likelihood to attend college. Unconscious biases within White teachers, who favor a “colorblind” approach may cause unintentional harm to the very students they vow to uplift, while the early acknowledgment of differences can prepare students for a diverse world. Positive outcomes sparked by same-race role models can potentially shrink the education achievement gap and usher more Black & Brown students into colleges and universities.
OPTION 1. Watch this quick video that illustrates how some California pre-schools are getting children to participate in conversations about racial differences at an early age. Note how the topics, while covered three years ago, still resonate today. (WATCH)
OPTION 2. K-6 classrooms are often lead 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 of the New York Times bestseller, White Fragility on White fragility in teaching and education. (READ)
OPTION 3. Black students who’d had just one Black teacher by third grade were 13% more likely to enroll in college. Check out this quick article on how the role-model effect can potentially shrink the educational achievement gap. (READ)
To wrap up week 2 and our discussion around issues of racism and inequity within our educational systems, 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.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 Back students especially hard. (READ)
OPTION 2. More Hispanic students than ever are trying to get their degree, but they experience a number of obstacles, including the high cost of tuition and lack of support services on campus tailored to their unique needs. Read this article to learn more about the challenges they face and how they work to overcome them. Check out the interactive graph to find South Florida institutions with Hispanic student populations of 25% or more. To dig deeper, review Excelencia in Education’s research on graduation rates. (READ)
OPTION 3. 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, which discusses how standardized tests were designed by racists and eugenicists to prove that people of color, poor people, and women were intellectually inferior.(WATCH)
OPTION 4. Read this piece by Harvard Graduate School of Education professor Anthony Abraham Jack, a Miami native, on his experiences managing life as a first generation college student and why colleges must learn that students who come from poverty need more than financial aid to succeed. (READ)
LEVEL 1: Read this brief intro on school segregation and bring together a small group of colleagues, family or friends to participate in one of 6 interactive activities.
LEVEL 2: Create a quick list of your top 5 favorites books that you read in high school. Keep these in the back of your mind as you move through the day’s content. After reading the content, take a look at the authors of the books on your list and answer the following questions. Is there any racial/ethnic diversity? How did the canon affect your viewpoint as a young pupil? Now create a list of 5 books you would add to the high school canon that you feel all students should read.
WEEK 3. CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM
Welcome to week 3 of The Challenge – you’ve reached the half-way point!
The death of George Floyd at the hands of police has thrust into the national psyche the extreme bias and systemic racism within the criminal justice system. Thousands have taken to the streets to protest and demand reforms and change around policing. Companies and individuals alike are being asked to take a stand and demonstrate tangible evidence that they are taking action to push the nation toward change.
Today we will learn about the damaging and often fatal effects of racial bias and over-policing on Black and Brown communities, and how budget data on police spending can inform advocates and policymakers alike.
OPTION 1.Stanford University researchers found that Black and Hispanic drivers were stopped more often than White drivers, based on less evidence of wrongdoing. Read about the study to uncover the extent of this evidence, which is driven by racial bias. (READ)
OPTION 2. 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. Check it out. (READ)
OPTION 3.In communities in which people have more implicit racial biases, Black Americans are being killed more by police than their presence in the population would warrant. Listen to this story to see how data is used to pinpoint where disproportionate shootings of minorities were most likely. If you took an IAT from Day 1 of the Challenge, reflect on your results in light of this story. (LISTEN)
OPTION 4. We’re hearing about demands to “defund the police” by criminal justice reform advocates. But what does this mean and how do we determine the best approach for our communities? Read this article about how budget data on police spending can help determine the fiscal opportunities and parameters of reform.(READ)
Building on last week’s discussion on education and the school-to-prison pipeline, mass incarceration of targeted demographics has an effect not only on those imprisoned but on entire ethnic and religious groups and future generations. Today, we will discuss the impact of racial disparities in incarceration on minority communities, and learn about one movement to reverse the tide.
For an in-depth look at the origin and current state of mass incarceration in the United States, watch the Netflix documentary, 13th, by director Ava DuVernay.
OPTION 1.Watch this video on mass incarceration to understand how for certain demographics of young Black men, the inevitability of prison could impact generations. (WATCH)
OPTION 2. The existence of racial disparity in the criminal justice system in Miami-Dade County was studied by the ACLU and University of Miami professors. Read this brief article and take a look at the infographics about how race and ethnicity shape a person’s involvement in the criminal justice system. (VIEW)
OPTION 3.Watch this video about how “participatory defense,” a growing movement that empowers families and community members to impact their loved ones’ court cases, changed the life of Ramon Vazquez, and how it can change the “generational cycles of suffering” caused by mass incarceration. (WATCH)
Florida has an incarceration rate of 833 to 100,000 people, meaning that it locks up a higher percentage of its people than many wealthy democracies do. Today, we will learn about the factors behind the dramatic increase in incarceration over the past fifty years, where Florida residents are locked up, and the challenges faced by former inmates.
OPTION 1. More than 176,000 of Florida’s residents are locked up in various facilities. Check out these infographics to see how many Florida residents are locked up and where. (VIEW)
OPTION 2. Read this article about the high rate of incarceration in Florida, the challenge with state minimum mandatory laws, and the advocacy efforts to end mass incarceration by unlikely allies. (READ)
OPTION 3. Amendment 4 restored voting rights in Florida to people with certain felony convictions. Watch as Desmond Meade, the founder of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, discusses his personal journey from inmate to law school grad, the work to pass Amendment 4, and the challenges unique to Florida faced by former inmates. (WATCH)
Over the past 30 years, the trend of confining more women to federal, state and local correction facilities has exploded at an increase of 700%.
Today we will see how anecdotal and antiquated healthcare policies, harsher disciplinary consequences and unmet needs — while incarcerated and post-release — perpetuate a cycle of generational imprisonment, poverty and trauma for women and families. We’ll also learn about a recent glimmer of hope in Florida for pregnant inmates.
OPTION 1. Read this article on the cycle of poverty, trauma, and unmet needs of women in jail and after release, to understand how the criminal justice system exploits the poor and vulnerable. Note the significant disparities discussed for Black, Hispanic, and Native American women and girls. (VIEW)
OPTION 2. 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 this article to see how many prisons neglect pregnant women in their healthcare policies. Refer to the chart to see how well Florida adheres to nationally recognized guidelines. (READ)
OPTION 3. The Tammy Jackson Act was signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis last month. Take a look at this local story about the law, which will help ensure pregnant inmates in labor receive proper medical attention. (WATCH)
OPTION 4.Listen to this investigation, which finds that in prisons across the U.S., women are disciplined more often than men and almost always for low-level, non-violent offenses. After you listen, check out the related story about a newer study that supports the investigation and noted that Black women receive even harsher treatment. (LISTEN)
Life after prison can often be just as difficult as time spent behind bars. Most former convicts struggle with culture shock, mental health issues, disenfranchisement, unemployment, and a whole host of other problems upon release. Today we will learn more about some of those issues and the struggle the formerly incarcerated face when trying to re-engage in society.
OPTION 1. Long-term imprisonment inevitably changes the personalities of former convicts. Read these findings from interviews with 25 former ‘lifers,’ who had served an average of 19 years in jail. (READ)
OPTION 2. Maryam Henderson-Uloho was convicted of obstruction of justice and was sentenced to 25 years in a Louisiana prison. When she was released she felt dehumanized. Watch the incredible story of how she turned her life around — and continues to support other female ex-offenders. (WATCH)
OPTION 3. The unemployment rate for formerly incarcerated people is nearly five times higher than that of the total U.S. population and even higher than the worse years of the Great Depression. Read this article which outlines the barriers formerly incarcerated people face when looking for employment. (READ)
LEVEL 1: Contact New Florida Majority or Florida Rights Restoration Coalition to find out how you can help advocate for criminal justice reform. Reach out to Ladies Empowerment Action Program (LEAP), which offers re-entry support for women through entrepreneurship, education and other services.
LEVEL 2: Refer to this helpful guide from the ACLU Florida about the tremendous power State Attorneys have in the criminal justice system, then view this site to find your State Attorney. If you live in Broward County, start here to learn about the candidates, then be sure to vote in the August 18 primary election.
LEVEL 3: Since 2014, The Marshall Project has been curating some of the best criminal justice reporting from around the web. In these records, you will find the most recent and authoritative articles on the topics, people and events that are shaping the criminal justice conversation. Explore this page full of videos, articles, etc., from various viewpoints on the prison system.
WEEK 4. PUBLIC HEALTH
Welcome to the last week of the 21-Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge.
Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, and other groups suffer worse health outcomes than Whites, even when controlling for income and other factors. This week, we will see that these disparities aren’t about race, but racism.
Today, we’ll learn about the negative impact of toxic stress, fueled by daily exposure to discrimination, on communities of color.
OPTION 1. Watch this TED Talk about how research has found that higher levels of discrimination are associated with a broad range of negative health outcomes such as obesity, high blood pressure, breast cancer, heart disease, and early death. (WATCH)
OPTION 2.Listen to this podcast about the effect of chronic stress from frequent racist encounters on the health outcomes of people of color. The story also features a case study on how a large scale ICE raid in Iowa impacted the health of pregnant Latina women across the state. (LISTEN)
OPTION 3. Black and Latin communities in the U.S. are contracting and dying of COVID-19 at higher rates than Whites. Listen to this podcast to learn how the traditional social determinants for negative health outcomes in communities of color, like toxic stress, poverty, and medical bias, are contributing to these disparities. (LISTEN)
OPTION 4. Read this article about how the mental burdens of bias, trauma, and family hardship lead to unequal life outcomes for girls and women and, in particular, girls and women of color. (READ)
America is the most dangerous wealthy country in the world to give birth. This is, in part, due to the dramatic racial disparities in maternal and infant mortality. Toxic stress and bias in medical care mean that women of color are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications. Racism is a public health crisis and it is time to treat it as such.
OPTION 1. Read this article on how the negative impact of institutional racism on maternal and infant mortality for Native American women closely parallels that of Black women. (READ)
OPTION 2. In the U.S., Black babies die at twice the rate of White babies. Premature birth and its complications are the largest contributors to infant death in the country, and preterm birth rates have been increasing. Look through this report card on Florida to see how our state is doing with preterm birth rates. (VIEW)
OPTION 3. The number of women dying from pregnancy-related causes has doubled in the last 25 years. Watch this interview featuring Stacey D. Stewart, 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. (WATCH)
OPTION 4. Read about how dozens of cities have declared racism a public health crisis, backed by solid science, and how doing so can open the door to legislation and policies that address the many mechanisms of structural racism and its impact on Black people. (READ)
A large part of our health is determined by our environment. For generations, the impact of pollution and environmental 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 are looking 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 people face disproportionate rates of lead poisoning, asthma, and environmental harm. (WATCH)
OPTION 2. Thirteen years after a couple sued the City of Fort Lauderdale for spewing toxins into their predominately Black neighborhood over a period of three decades, the case was finally settled. Read this story about “Baby Wingate,” which takes its name from the Wingate Superfund site that poisoned the ground in northwest Fort Lauderdale and cost millions of dollars in cleanup. To dig deeper, read about environmental activist Leola McCoy, who died in 2008. (READ)
OPTION 3. 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. (READ)
OPTION 4. Watch this interview with scientist and philosopher Vandana Shiva where she links environmental activism to social justice and how that intersection can help us find common humanity. (WATCH)
The history of the exploitation and brutalization of people of color by doctors and others in the medical field 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 racist 18th-century beliefs and practices are still leading to adverse health outcomes for people of color today. (WATCH)
OPTION 2. Listen to this podcast about the United States Supreme Court ruling, Buck v. Bell, that institutionalized the racist eugenics movement and led to 70,000 forced sterilizations of people of color and people with physical and mental disabilities. (LISTEN)
OPTION 3. Read this article about how racist stereotypes led to approximately 20,000 people – many of them Latino/a – being forcibly sterilized in California and how this is echoed in the political landscape today. (READ)
Have you ever been to the doctor and had 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 or deny you life-saving care? If you are a person of color this is an all too 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 “Medical Apartheid” who talks about how, even though the worst medical practices of 18th and 19th centuries are over, there are still a lot of medical research studies that can be abusive. (WATCH)
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. (READ)
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. (LISTEN)
LEVEL 1: Broward Healthy Start Coalition focuses on the racial disparity in fetal infant mortality rates. Share information in your sphere of influence about Connect, a program that links pregnant women and new moms to the support they need.
LEVEL 2: Talk to your company/organization’s HR department about their parental leave policy and other systems in place to support new parents.
LEVEL 3: Write a letter to your local elected officials urging them to declare racism a public health crisis.
YWCA South Florida is honored to have brought this challenge to our community. Thank you for joining us for deeper conversations in our private Facebook group, during Instagram Lives, and during our Forward Friday discussions with community leaders. Your sincere interest and passion for the material made the effort more rewarding for all of us!
We hope you feel more enlightened and more committed than ever to make the fight for racial and social justice a habit, and we look forward to seeing the great work you will do in our community.
BONUS WEEK. VOTING
Today, we are looking at the history of voter suppression and how people of color were systemically kept from the ballot box and the challenges they had to overcome to exercise their right to vote. This will provide a much-needed context for tomorrow’s challenge where we will be showing how voter suppression has changed over time and how it is disenfranchising marginalized communities today.
OPTION 1. Read this article about the history of voter suppression in the U.S. Print out and take the literacy test that was designed to disenfranchise people of color (White men were exempt). These tests were a prevalent requirement to vote from the 1890s to the 1960s. You would have been given 10 minutes to complete this test so make sure to set a timer before you start. (TAKE THE TEST)
OPTION 2. View this interactive timeline of the history of the Voting Rights Act and see how access to the vote was expanded and restricted over time. (VIEW)
OPTION 3. 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. (READ)
Yesterday you learned voter suppression and its impact on American history and people of color. Today, we are going to talk about how voter suppression continues to impact our democracy and disenfranchise marginalized people. With this being such a significant election year, it is important to recognize the barriers to voting that many people still face and to work to eliminate those barriers so that our representatives and laws reflect our increasingly diverse country.
For a deeper dive, read about the battle in our own state to uphold Amendment 4, which was approved by Florida voters in 2018 to overturn a century-old law that permanently removed the right to vote for people with felony convictions.
OPTION 1. 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. (READ)
OPTION 2. The right of Native Americans to vote in U.S. elections was not recognized in 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. (READ)
OPTION 3. 150 years after the 15th Amendment was passed, barriers to voting remain. Learn about how voter ID laws, gerrymandering, access to polling places and other strategies continue to be used today to limit access to the ballot box. (READ)
The fight for women’s suffrage was not as straightforward as you might think. Today we are going to examine the intersection of race and gender and how this played out during the fight for the 19th Amendment. Black women were marginalized in the movement and their contributions sidelined by history. Today we need to 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 African American suffragists who fought for the 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. (READ)
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. (WATCH)
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. They pioneered the idea of intersectionality more than a century before the term would be officially coined in 1989. (READ)
Every 10 years the federal government undertakes the important task of counting every person living in the United States. Today, you are going to learn about the Census’ history, why people of color are routinely undercounted, and how this seemingly old-fashioned program impacts the lives of every American without most of us even realizing it.
Before you begin, click HERE for an interactive map of South Florida counties. Hover over and click on your county to see where an undercounting in the 2020 Census is predicted and make a note of any observations you have.
OPTION 1. Read this article about how the coronavirus pandemic has negatively impacted U.S. Census efforts, particularly with communities of color that have historically had a strained relationship with the Census. (READ)
OPTION 2. Watch this video for a background on the 2020 Census, what information is collected, how hard-to-reach populations like the homeless are counted, and why the Census is so critically important to decisions around public policy. (WATCH)
OPTION 3. Listen to YWCA USA’s “Organize Your Butterflies” podcast about their YWomenCount campaign to encourage everyone to participate in the 2020 census. (LISTEN)
OPTION 4.Read this article about the importance of the 2020 Census for Florida’s children, who gets missed, and why. You’ll find helpful fact sheets and other materials for download. As you review the different ways to take action, consider what you can do to ensure every Floridian gets counted! (READ)