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 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.
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.
Day 8 of the Equity Challenge features an exploration of the legacy of redlining and includes a version of the talk given at Allendale Columbia’s town hall event this past summer. If you are a homeowner, learn more about the racial covenants still attached to some local homes and check to see if your own deed contains any such covenants.
DAY 8: HOUSING INEQUITY
In our community and in many parts of our country, there is extreme housing segregation that is a direct result of a practice called “redlining,” a form of lending discrimination that has disproportionately affected Black, Latino, and other people of color for hundreds of years.
Beginning in the 1930s, this nationwide practice allowed banks to deny mortgage and loan applications, and prevented people from buying homes based on race or which community they lived in. The term “redlining” comes from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) using red ink to outline maps of undesirable neighborhoods—predominately consisting of Black and Latino families—to unfairly mark them as high-risk for loan default and thus give banks a “reason” to deny a loan. Housing segregation continued further as the FHA and VA denied subsidized mortgages to Black, Latino and families of color in the growing suburbs after World War II.
The first federal law prohibiting home lending discrimination was put in place with the 1969 Fair Housing Act, yet much damage had been done and lending discrimination still occurs today in different forms.
Home ownership plays a significant role in family wealth, enabling families to build equity that is passed down to future generations.
People who did not have the opportunity to build wealth through home ownership because of redlining, housing discrimination and predatory loans are hundreds of thousands of dollars behind in wealth compared to their white counterparts, and continue to face these and other discriminatory practices today.
Use the content below to reflect on the ways that housing inequities are advanced through policies and practices, and what we can do about this issue together.
DID YOU KNOW…
Dr. Walter Cooper, a research scientist at Kodak and the first African-American to receive a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Rochester,
answered ads for 69 apartments in 1954 and was refused at all of them.
Please check out resources regarding the connection between inequity and trauma. Kenneth Hardy’s recommendations for healing the wounds of racial trauma include naming racial oppression, externalizing and counteracting devaluation, and offering affirmation and acknowledgement.
DAY 7: FROM TRAUMA TO HEALING
Racism is traumatic. It is painful, violent, harmful, and deeply felt by those on the receiving end. The lasting effects and trauma of experiencing racism can show up in emotions, behaviors, and in many other ways.
Dr. Kenneth V. Hardy suggests that rather than asking, “What is wrong”, a trauma-informed approach would be to question, “What happened to you?” Numerous studies show that racism and discrimination are forms of trauma, and the lasting psychological effects can be similar to those of veterans who have experienced combat. Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is becoming more commonly diagnosed in marginalized communities as racism and discrimination continue to create psychological, emotional, and physical harm.
It is important to understand this trauma to be able to move forward. Check out the info below, including a helpful list of ways to contribute to “healing the hidden wounds” of racial trauma, and a local resource for self-care and equitable access to yoga.
DID YOU KNOW…
81% of Black people reported experiencing discrimination.
1 in 10 developed symptoms of PTSD due to racism and discrimination.
Welcome to Day 6 of the 21 Day Equity Challenge! Among other things, today’s resources define and explain microaggressions and outline why promoting a “colorblind” ethic might do more harm than good.
DAY 6: RACE AND DISCRIMINATION
For many people, discrimination is an everyday reality.
-American Psychological Association
Discrimination is treating a person or group unfairly or with prejudice based on race, gender, age, sexual orientation, or other personal characteristics. While the definition is generally understood, the reasons why discrimination happens is more complex.
We learn as young children to categorize people and things to make sense of the world. It is the positive and negative values that parents, peers, and our society place on those categories that create perceptions and eventually actions—like discrimination—based on those values.
Some forms of racial and ethnic discrimination are big—denying housing and employment, for example. Other forms can be smaller acts that carry just as much harm, like giving poor service to a Black family at a restaurant, clutching your purse in an elevator with a Latino teen, or denying a playdate with a child of a different race. These smaller acts are microaggressions, and despite the “small” name, they hold big consequences. Discrimination can create chronic stress that in turn causes anxiety, depression, obesity, high blood pressure, and more.
WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER
If you are on the receiving end of discrimination, you are certainly not alone. The article below shares ways to cope with the detrimental effects of discrimination including focusing on strengths, developing a support system, getting involved in change efforts, and seeking professional help. However, it is essential that those who have power create change by focusing on actions that will prevent discrimination at the start.
The act of discriminating against others starts young. Children can differentiate race as early as six months, and the days of teaching kids to be “colorblind” are behind us. Talking about race and teaching the benefits of seeing color will help our children see and embrace the beauty that comes with diversity.