Allendale Columbia School is committed to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in our community, and we are proud to be one of the more than 400 local organizations to participate in the United Way of Greater Rochester’s 21-Day Equity Challenge. Prior to the Challenge, AC hosted a series of equity events, including a town hall meeting to explore the history of racism and resistance in Rochester as well as several listening sessions for parents and alumni.
Students, parents, faculty, administrators, and staff from Allendale Columbia School participated in the Equity Challenge. There will be an opportunity for them to come together and reflect on the experience in the near future, and we plan to return to these valuable resources as we work toward achieving our equity goals.
For more information about how you can get involved in these important discussions, please contact Lindsey Brown, Director of Equity and Community Engagement.
Day 19 of the Equity Challenge highlights the potential of true inclusion. The video Inclusion Starts with I includes the following facts:
For every $100 a woman makes, a man makes $258.
Women of color hold 3% of C-suite positions.
7 in 10 working fathers want to work more flexibly.
People with Disabilities are significantly more likely to experience unfair treatment at work than non-disabled people.
Transgender people are twice as licely to be unemployed and four times as likely to live in poverty.
1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health issue each year.
Team performance improves 50% when everybody feels included.
DAY 19: THE RACIAL EQUITY CHANGE PROCESS
We must continue to challenge ourselves to do more, to increase our awareness of injustice, and to actively step up to build equity in our networks and communities. This Challenge has offered tools and resources to advance racial equity. Where you put your time and effort in this work is up to you.
Change begins with each individual, and grows with intention and activism through networks, organizations, practices, and policies that advocate for inclusion and equity for all. Listening matters. Data matters. Representation matters. Actions matter.
We are in this together, and together we can make a difference. What do you plan to do next?
DID YOU KNOW…
In the human services nonprofit sector in the U.S.,
90% of CEOs and 90% of Board of Director Chairs are white.
Board make-up impacts how it functions and the decisions it makes.
Inclusive, representative Board and staffing can advance policies and
decisions that support a racially equitable business and culture.
Today’s installment of the 21 Day Equity Challenge focuses on allyship. It links to three short guides to how to be an effective ally in your work and personal lives.
DAY 18: BEING AN ALLY
The dictionary definition of ally is “a person or organization that cooperates with or helps another in a particular activity.” In today’s society, the term has taken on a more urgent and active meaning, however it is often misunderstood or misused to imply good intentions, often without action or with action for unproductive reasons.
For this reason, ally or allyship can be triggering terms for those who experience racism, oppression, and discrimination on a regular basis. Informed action is important for those who strive to be allies with marginalized people and communities.
According to Amélie Lamont in the guide below, being an ally doesn’t necessarily mean you fully understand what it feels like to be oppressed. It means you’re taking on the struggle as your own, and adding your voice or action alongside those who are oppressed. Being anti-racist is not a spectator sport, nor is it an individual activity. It requires recognizing and owning the privilege that you hold, to help carry the weight of oppression for, and in collaboration with, others.
There is a place for each of us in this work. Check out the Dos and Don’ts, and helpful tips to becoming a better ally in the resources below. Consider the reflection questions to get to work.
Today’s resources are focused on building a race equity culture. Please take a moment to watch Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s amazing TED Talk, The Danger of a Single Story and check out Wayne Lorenzo Titus’s tips for hosting meaningful diversity, equity, and inclusion conversations in your workplace.
DAY 17: BUILDING A RACE EQUITY CULTURE
Every person within an organization, group, and community contributes to the culture of that network. Building an equitable culture within our businesses, friend groups, family structures, and community interactions requires active efforts from each member to move forward.
The term anti-racist has emerged in recent years to advance and replace previously well-meaning words like tolerance and acceptance. While they are not negative, the terms are passive and can be seen as neutral in the fight against racism. Being anti-racist is an active way to evolve, grow, and move toward racial equity.
The National Museum of African American History & Culture says that for white people, this involves acknowledging their privilege, working to change internalized racism, and addressing racism when they see it. For people of color, it means recognizing how race and racism have been internalized, and whether it has been applied to others.
There are many ways to be anti-racist as an individual and within the networks in which we exist. Review the information below for helpful suggestions and tools to engage in this important work.
The focus of today’s equity challenge is adverse child experiences (ACEs.) ACEs are defined as traumatic events that occur in childhood, impact brain development, and sometimes have lasting negative impacts on wellbeing. Did you know that in Monroe County 64% of children have experienced at least one ACE? Below, you can read local ACE statistics, take the ACE survey or find out about everyday things you can do to help a child heal.
DAY 13: ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES
Today we are continuing our focus on children by exploring adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs. ACEs are traumatic events that occur in childhood (ages 0-17) that impact a person’s brain development and can have a lasting effect on their mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing into adulthood.
ACEs may include abuse, neglect, or being in a household with challenges related to poverty, mental illness, violence, and incarceration. According to the CDC, about 61% of adults surveyed across 25 states reported that they had experienced at least one type of ACE, and nearly 1 in 6 reported they had experienced four or more types of ACEs. Take the quiz in Option 2 below to find your own ACE score.
While all children experience ACEs, for communities of color ACE exposure is disproportionately high. An analysis by The Child & Adolescent Health Initiative shows that 6 in 10 Black children have ACEs, representing 17.4% of all children in the US with ACEs. This information connects to the Racial Equity Challenge Day 7 and 9 readings relating to health outcomes, and how Black and Latino people are more likely to experience the negative health effects brought upon by trauma, racism, and inequity.
The good news…ACEs do not define who you are. A deeper understanding of how ACEs impact young people, and the support of caring adults in their lives, can help them find strength and resiliency.
DID YOU KNOW…
In Monroe County, 64% of children have experienced 1 or more ACEs.
23% are carrying 3 or more ACEs, causing a higher risk for poor mental, physical, and emotional health outcomes.
Day 11’s resources focus on the racial wealth gap. Did you know that the average white family has seven times the wealth of the average Black family and five times the wealth of the average Latino family? Did you know that this disparity is as high or higher than it was in 1963? The Equity Challenge is now officially more than halfway complete!
YOU’RE HALFWAY TO BUILDING A RACIAL EQUITY-BUILDING HABIT
DAY 11: RACIAL WEALTH GAP
In the most recent days of the 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge we have explored structural and institutional inequities that lead to negative and disparate outcomes in health, environmental issues, and housing. Related to each of these challenges is the bigger picture of overall wealth inequity that has grown from racism and discrimination.
The racial wealth gap in the United States is staggering. According to the U.S. Federal Reserve, white families have an average net worth of more than $934,000, compared to Black families with an average net worth of $138,000 and Hispanic families with an average net worth of $191,000. These figures consider assets like homes, vehicles, income, retirement accounts, and other wealth-related items.
Contributing to the wealth gap are factors like income inequality, earnings gaps, homeownership rates, retirement savings, student loan debt, and inequitable asset-building opportunities.
This inequity in financial resources exists in our community, holding many back for decades, simply because of the color of their skin.
The 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge does not support nor endorse any advertisements associated with the above content.
Today marks the halfway point of the Challenge. Thank you for your continued commitment to finding a deeper understanding of racial equity. Take a few minutes to check-in on how you’re feeling. How has your perspective changed? What do you need to do to stay committed for the next 10 days?
Questions to Consider for Self-Reflection:
How do you perceive your family’s success/lack of success?
What new perspectives does the above information provide about your own family’s basis of wealth?
Do you often think about what is in the air you are breathing when you are outside? Have you ever been instructed to not plant a garden or allow your children to play in your yard because of ground pollution?
These challenges are reality for many families across our country and in our own community, where even in the same county people experience drastically different quality of air, earth, water, and life. Pollution, often created in high-traffic areas and when hazardous waste is improperly disposed of, contributes to serious health issues like asthma, pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and now higher rates of viral community spread with COVID-19.
This is environmental injustice, and like so much of what we have discussed in this Challenge, it negatively affects communities of color much more than predominantly white communities. (Think housing, health disparities, access to medical care, wealth gaps, etc.)
Perhaps the most widely publicized environmental injustice in recent years was the Flint Water Crisis, which resulted in 9,000 children (and thousands of adults) consuming toxic, lead-contaminated water for 18 months while government officials told residents the water was safe to drink.
Today, we are seeing environmental injustice play out before our eyes as the coronavirus is disproportionately devastating low-income, marginalized communities, people who do not have the opportunity to work from home, and those with preexisting conditions that can be a result of discrimination and environmental challenges.
The effects of environmental injustice are complex and far-reaching. We can take on this issue together through education, advocacy, and action. Consider the resources and next steps below.
Today’s resources focus on racial disparities in healthcare and life expectancy and introduce the idea of social health determinants. Did you know that a child born in Pittsford’s 14534 ZIP code is expected to live 9 years longer than a child born in the City of Rochester’s 14608 ZIP code?
DAY 9: HOW RACISM IMPACTS YOUR HEALTH
In Day 7 we talked about some of the negative mental health outcomes caused by racism (remember, you can go back at any time to view previous days of the Racial Equity Challenge here).
Today, we will go deeper into how overall health is dramatically impacted by racism and discrimination. As explained in this report by Common Ground Health, social determinants of health—the conditions in which people are born, live work, and age—account for 80% of a person’s health and wellness (while just 20% is attributed to clinical or medical care).
Some examples of social determinants of health include economic factors like job status, income, and medical bills; living conditions including housing, access to transportation, safety, and access to parks and playgrounds; educational opportunities like early childhood support, literacy, and access to training; access to healthy food; social support and levels of stress; and quality of health care.
Throughout this Challenge we have explored (and will continue to examine) ways in which racism and discrimination affect social, economic, and environmental factors. With social determinants of health being impacted by racism at every turn, health status is challenged and life expectancy is drastically lower for communities of color than for their white counterparts.
Achieving health equity goes hand-in-hand with addressing racism and discrimination. Check out the content and self-reflections below to learn more about how race impacts health.
DID YOU KNOW…
A child born today in Pittsford’s 14534 ZIP code will live up to nine years longer than a child born in the City of Rochester’s 14608 ZIP code.