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.
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?
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.
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.
Did you know that yesterday marked Latina equal pay day? More than 50 years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act, Latinas typically earn only 55 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men and must work nearly 23 months to earn what white men earn in 12. In today’s resources, deepen your understanding of different types of racism including internalized racism, interpersonal racism, institutional racism, and structural racism.
DAY 5: LEVELS OF RACISM
The most common understanding of racism in our country is limited to the interpersonal level of racism—the personal prejudice and intentional bias in our individual interactions across different races. A different and emerging explanation of racism contends that interpersonal racism is actually a symptom of a more fundamental system of racism—an array of cultural norms and institutional policies and practices that routinely produce racially inequitable outcomes, often without individual intent or malice.
Change requires an awareness of the levels of racism, and a collective will to address people, organizations, and systems to break down barriers that have been built over hundreds of years.
Check out the resources, self-reflection, and ways to get involved below to be a part of affecting this change.