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21 Day Challenge

WEEK 1: CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM

Welcome to Week 1 of The Challenge! Bias within the criminal justice system is not a new phenomenon, however, in recent years, the massive impact of these biases on communities of color has been highlighted in the media, creating a national movement around criminal justice reform.

 

Day 1: POLICING

 Today we will learn about the damaging and often fatal effects of bias and over-policing.

Stanford University researchers found that black and Latino drivers were stopped more often than white drivers, based on less evidence of wrongdoing. Read this study to uncover the extent of this evidence, which is driven by racial bias. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/inside-100-million-police-traffic-stops-new-evidence-racial-bias-n980556

 

Day 2: RACIAL DISPARITIES IN INCARCERATION

 In this animated interview, the sociologist Bruce Western explains the current inevitability of prison for certain demographics of young black men and how it's become a normal life event. "We've chosen the response of the deprivation of liberty for a historically aggrieved group, whose liberty in the United States was never firmly established to begin with," Western says. In The Atlantic's October 2015 cover story, Ta-Nehisi Coates explores the impact of mass incarceration on the black family. 

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. https://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/404890/prison-inherited-trait/

 

Day 3: TENNESSEE & VIRGINIA

Today we will take a deep dive into the multitude of policies that keep Tennessee and Virginia residents tied up in the criminal justice system at an alarming rate.

TN: https://www.prisonpolicy.org/profiles/TN.html

VA: https://www.prisonpolicy.org/profiles/VA.html

 

Day 4: WOMEN IN PRISON

 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 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.

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 prisons neglect pregnant women in their healthcare policies. https://www.prisonpolicy.org/blog/2019/12/05/pregnancy/

Information from The Tennessean about anti-shackling proposed policy for pregnant inmates: https://www.tennessean.com/story/opinion/2019/02/19/tennessee-women-shouldnt-shackled-if-pregnant-and-incarcerated/2910927002/

Day 5: AFTER PRISON

 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.

Maryam Henderson-Uloho was convicted of obstruction of justice; she 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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLsB60p_FW8

Here is an article about how unemployment amid coronavirus affects people of color more harshly: https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/race/news/2020/04/14/483125/economic-fallout-coronavirus-people-color/

Incarceration and unemployment in Memphis: https://www.bizjournals.com/memphis/news/2015/12/04/growth-in-felony-convictions-hampers-memphis.html

 

The YWCA NETN and SWVA works every day to address the issues of racism and social injustice affecting underserved people in our local area.  We offer working parents affordable, quality childcare and after school care in a racially anti-biased environment.  We provide services and assistance to victims of domestic abuse, dating violence and bullying. Through our programming we are able to address many of the issues which are also national problems.

YW CARES is here to walk with victims of crime through the criminal justice and legal systems. We know that talking to the police and going to court can be daunting tasks, and advocates are here to help from start to finish. Advocates are with survivors when they talk with law enforcement to report a crime, coordinate referrals to legal services, help file important paperwork such as orders of protection, and attend court with survivors. YW CARES is here to ensure that no young adult survivor of crime has to navigate the criminal justice system alone.

YW CARES provides advocacy and support to any young adult, age 17-24, in Sullivan County, who has ever been the victim of a crime and is available 24 hours a day every day for its clients. We Respond after hours and on weekends to victims of all ages in the community.  The hotline number is: 423-956-2300 and the Website is  www.ywcares.org

WEEK 2: PUBLIC HEALTH

Welcome to the second week of the 21 Day Racial Equity and social justice challenge. People of color suffer worse health outcomes than white people, even when controlling for income and other factors. Learn why these disparities aren’t about race, but racism.

 

Day 6: RACISM AND TOXIC STRESS

Today we are talking about the impact of toxic stress caused by daily exposure to discrimination on the health of people of color.

TED MED Talk: How Racism Makes Us Sick

Why does race matter so profoundly for health? David R. Williams 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. In this eye-opening talk, Williams presents evidence for how racism is producing a rigged system -- and offers hopeful examples of programs across the US that are working to dismantle discrimination. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzyjDR_AWzE

TN Office on Minority Health and Disparities Elimination: https://www.tn.gov/health/health-program-areas/dmhde.html

VA Office on Health Equity: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/health-equity/

Test Yourself for Implicit Bias: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html

Day 7: MATERNAL AND INFANT MORTALITY

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.

Healing the Maternal Health Divide

In 2019, American women are more than twice as likely to die of pregnancy-related causes than they were in 1987. More American women are dying of pregnancy-related complications than women in any other developed country. And only in the U.S. has the rate of women who die been rising. What can cities do to grapple with the growing maternal health crisis, and to provide every mother the best care? Muriel Bowser, Mayor, City of Washington, D.C., and Stacey D. Stewart, President and CEO, March of Dimes, joined journalist Susan Saulny to discuss. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsJEBBgO0Ag

March of Dimes TN & VA report card links

TN: https://www.marchofdimes.org/peristats/tools/reportcard.aspx?frmodrc=1&reg=47

VA:  https://www.marchofdimes.org/peristats/tools/reportcard.aspx?frmodrc=1&reg=51

Black Doulas in US: https://www.blackdoulas.org/

 

Day 8: ENVIRONMENTAL RACISM

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.

Environmental Racism is the New Jim Crowe

African Americans face disproportionate rates of lead poisoning, asthma, and environmental harm. Staff writer Vann R. Newkirk II argues that discrimination in public planning is to blame. “Pollution and the risk of disaster are assigned to black and brown communities through generations of discrimination and political neglect,” says Newkirk II. The environment is a system controlled and designed by people—“and people can be racist.” https://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/529137/environmental-racism-is-the-new-jim-crow/

Environmental Justice in Your community

TN: https://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/environmental-justice-your-community

VA: https://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/environmental-justice-your-community

Day 9: RACISM/BIAS IN MEDICAL CARE: HISTORICAL

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 if the first step towards a more equitable future.

The US Medical System is Still Haunted by Slavery

Black women's history matters in medicine. Read ProPublica's feature piece on how the US is the most dangerous industrialized country in which to give birth, and racial disparities in maternal mortality make it even worse for women of color: https://www.propublica.org/article/no... And they're seeking your help in understanding the problem. If you nearly died during pregnancy or know someone who died due to childbirth related causes, check out this page for more information: http://propub.li/2Ae5RMi

 

The Supreme Court Ruling That Led To 70,000 Forced Sterilizations Podcast

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/03/07/469478098/the-supreme-court-ruling-that-led-to-70-000-forced-sterilizations

Day 10: RACISM/BIAS IN MEDICAL CARE: TODAY

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 or deny you life-saving care? 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.

Harriet Washington, "Medical Apartheid" author interview:

On August 19, 2019 we caught up with Harriet Washington, Lecturer in Bioethics at Columbia University and author of “Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present,” before her lecture, “History, Ethics and Contemporary Medical Abuses.” Here is a short interview with her discussing a range of topics related to the historical roots of bias and abuse in modern healthcare toward African Americans.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzsNFBZK6ks

 

Too Many Doctors Still Believe Racial Stereotypes:

https://www.thecut.com/2017/11/too-many-doctors-still-believe-dangerous-racial-stereotypes.html

Emergency Medical Responders Confront Racial Bias:

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/01/03/676039371/emergency-medical-responders-confront-racial-bias

The YWCA NETN and SWVA works every day to address the issues of racism and social injustice affecting underserved people in our local area.  We offer working parents affordable, quality childcare and after school care in a racially anti-biased environment.  We provide services and assistance to victims of domestic abuse, dating violence and bullying. Through our programming we are able to address many of the issues which are also national problems.

MOMS R US is the only teen-specific pregnancy and parenting support program in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. MOMS R US is an ongoing effort to improve the lifetime health of teens and their babies, while equipping them with the knowledge and skills needed to welcome their baby into a safe and nurturing environment. Infants born to adolescent parents are at a higher risk of being born at a low birth weight, grow up in poor households and confront a multitude of adverse childhood experiences such as abuse or neglect, often by well-meaning but overwhelmed and underprepared parents who are still children themselves.  The 2018 Tennessee Department of Health reported a total of 120 teen pregnancies ages 10-19 in Sullivan County. The rate per 1,000 teens for Sullivan County is 13.8, just under the rate for the state of Tennessee being 15.0.

WEEK 3: EDUCATION

Welcome to week three of the 21 Day Racial Equity & Social Justice Challenge 2020. This week we will 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, yet today we see our schools just as segregated, if not more than in 1954. The result of this continued segregation has perpetuated a lasting negative effect on children and communities of color.

 

DAY 11: SCHOOL SEGREGATION

Today we will explore that history and its continued and renewed impact on our education systems.

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.

https://www.vox.com/2018/1/8/16822374/school-segregation-gerrymander-map.

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.

https://www.jchs.harvard.edu/sites/default/files/a_shared_future_consequences_of_segregation_for_children.pdf

Local YW Connection:

YWCA Children’s Center:  Sliding Scale Fee Childcare

The YWCA of NETN and SWVA/YWCA Children’s Center provides an equal opportunity for quality early childhood education for ALL children.  Since 1987, the YWCA has offered Bristol’s only sliding scale fee program in which weekly fees are based on annual household income.  Children six weeks to five years of age are offered care on a first come, first serve basis regardless of the need for financial assistance - meaning 100% of enrollment is eligible for financial support.   In 2019, 123 children and their families were served with 74% receiving financial assistance through the sliding scale fee program.  Impacting our community for nearly 33 years, families are supported who might otherwise find it economically impossible to work.   Those economically disadvantaged remain in the workforce while having their children in a safe, dependable, high quality, and developmentally appropriate environment.

DAY 12: WHAT WE TEACH

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.

Half of all school-aged children are non-white. Of children’s books published in 2013, though, only 10.5% featured a person of color. In 2016, this number doubled to 22%, but white is still the “default identity.” Read this article to consider ways in which some educators are reconstructing the canon. https://harvardpolitics.com/culture/thecanon/

Local YW Connection:

Children's books are one of the most effective tools to engage with young children on important issues. To encourage conversations about race and diversity with your children, YWCA Children’s Center and Wellmont Child Development Center invite you check out this list of books to read together as a family.

Early Childhood Books Focusing on Diversity:  Infant – Two Year Olds

  1. A is for All the Things You Are - Anna Forgerson Hindley
  2. All Kinds of People - Shelley Rotner & Sheila M. Kelly
  3. Babies, Babies! - Debby Slier
  4. Baby Goes to Market - Atinuke (Angela Brooksbank)
  5. Bringing in the New Year - Grace Lin
  6. Busy Fingers - C.W. Bowie
  7. Carry Me - Rena D. Grossman
  8. Daddy, Papa, and Me - Leslie Newman
  9. Dim Sum for Everyone! - Grace Lin
  10. Dream Big Little One - Vashti Harrison
  11. Everywhere Babies - Susan Meyers
  12. Feast for 10 - Cathryn Falwell
  13. Global Babies - The Global Fund for Children
  14. Global Baby Bedtimes - Maya Ajmera
  15. Global Boys - Maya Ajmera
  16. Global Girls - The Global Fund for Children
  17. Happy - Pharrell Williams
  18. Here Are My Hands - Bill Martin Jr.
  19. I am Latino: the Beauty in Me - Myles C. Pinkney, Sandra L. Pinkney
  20. I Can, Can You? - Marjorie W. Pitzer
  21. I Love My Hair - Natasha Anastasia Tarpley
  22. Mommy, Mama, and Me - Leslie Newman
  23. More, More Said the Baby - Vera Williams
  24. My Friends - Mis Amigos - Taro Gomi
  25. On Mother’s Lap - Ann Helbert Scott
  26. Please Baby Please - Spike Lee
  27. Shades of Black: A Celebration of Our Children - Sandra L. Pinkney
  28. Skin like Mine - Latashia M. Perry
  29. SMILE! - Roberta Grobel Intrater
  30. Ten Tiny Babies - Karen Katz
  31. To be a Kid - Maya Ajmera
  32. Whoever You Are - Mem Fox

Early Childhood Books Focusing on Diversity:  Preschool

  1. All Are Welcome - Alexandra Penfold
  2. Children Just Like Me: A New Celebration of Children Around the World - DK
  3. Clothes in Many Cultures - Heather Adamson
  4. Dream Big Little One - Vashti Harrison
  5. Elmer’s Special Day - David Mckee
  6. Families - Shelley Rotner
  7. Families in Many Cultures - Heather Adamson
  8. Festival of Many Colors - Kabir & Surishtha Sehgal
  9. Good People Everywhere - Lynea Gillen
  10. Homes in Many Cultures - Heather Adamson
  11. I Am Enough - Grace Byers
  12. I Love My Hair - Natasha Anastasia Tarply
  13. It’s Ok to be Different - Sharon Purtill
  14. Jamaica & Brianna - Juanita Havill & Anne Sibley O’Brien
  15. Jamaica Louise James - Juanita Havill & Anne Sibley O’Brien
  16. Kids Like Me Learn Their ABC’s - Laura Ronay
  17. Kindness Makes Us Strong - Shophie Beer
  18. Last Stop on Market Street - Matt de la Pena
  19. Let the Children March - Monica Clark Robinson
  20. Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History - Vashti Harrison
  21. Lovely - Jess Hong
  22. Mom and Me - Marla Stewart Konrad
  23. My People - Langston Hughes
  24. One Big Heart: A Celebration of Being More Alike than Different - Linsey Davis
  25. Schools in Many Cultures - Heather Adamsom
  26. Shades of Black: A Celebration of Our Children - Sandra L. Pinkney
  27. Shades of People - Shelley Rotner
  28. Skin like Mine - Latashia M. Perry
  29. Someone Special Just Like You - Tricia Brown
  30. Somewhere Today: A Book of Peace - Shelley Moore Thomas
  31. Thank You World - Alice B. McGinty
  32. The Big Umbrella - Amy June Bates
  33. The Day You Begin - Jacqueline Woodson
  34. The Okay Book - Todd Parr
  35. Think Big Little One - Vashti Harrison
  36. To be a Kid - Maya Ajmera
  37. To be an Artist - Maya Ajmeri & John D. Ivanko
  38. We’re Different, We’re the Same - Bobbi Kates
  39. What if We Were All the Same - C.M. Harris
  40. What We Wear: Dressing Up Around the World - Maya Ajmera
  41. Whoever You Are - Mem Fox
  42. You and Me Together: Moms, Dads and Kids Around the World - Barbara Kerley

Additional Resources:

https://diversebooks.org/resources-for-race-equity-and-inclusion/

https://diversebooks.org/resources/where-to-find-diverse-books/

DAY 13: SCHOOL TO PRISON PIPELINE

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 made by the ACLU). Most notably this term is tied to the systems that funnel African American 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.

By age 9, the behaviors of Black girls are often seen as and treated more like adults than children. Peruse this study on the erasure of Black girls’ childhood, particularly ages 9-11 as it pertains to discipline in school.

https://www.law.georgetown.edu/poverty-inequality-center/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2017/08/girlhood-interrupted.pdf

Local YW Connection:

YWCA TechGYRLS

TechGYRLS is a STEAM based after-school program for girls. The majority of students attend low-income schools (as defined by Title I of the Department of Education), are at-risk for falling behind a grade level or more academically, or have specific emotional or social challenges. When referred to the program by their educators, school counselors or administrators, many of the young ladies may be functioning below their capabilities, with families mired in poverty, turmoil and suffering the well-documented negative effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES).

The TechGYRLS program provides the loving, caring relationships that ensure program participants build the confidence and resiliency needed to ameliorate the effects of ACES and blossom into independent, capable women who grow to be leaders in their community.  The safe and supportive afterschool environment is a primary building block for future success and improved quality of life.  Our goal is to help the children we serve understand and develop a set of values that will influence them in making healthy and positive decisions in their lives, while also focusing on improving their grades and behavior.  Through engaging activities, enriching curriculum and individualized support, the program is providing young girls an opportunity to see what they can be - educated, successful members of society.

DAY 14: TEACHER IMPACT

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 in white teachers, who favor a “colorblind” approach may cause unintentional harm to their students, 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. 

Watch this quick video that illustrates how some California preschools are getting children to participate in conversations about racial differences at an early age. Anti-bias lessons help preschoolers hold up a mirror to diversity.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3iM7yIhde0

Local YW Connection:

Wellmont Child Development Center:  Anti-Bias & Diversity in Preschool Programs

Anti-bias education is not just activities about diversity and fairness. Anti-bias education works as a foundation, which infuses everything in the classroom, including interactions with children, families and staff.  The core principal of anti-bias education is “We are all the same. We are all different. Isn’t that wonderful!”

In preschool classrooms, educators plan and incorporate these values in an even more intentional way in their curriculums and environments.  Anti-bias and diversity is encouraged through literature, music, and activities. One educator brings in eggs of different shades and the children crack them to see they are the same on the inside. Classrooms listen to music from traditional Native American music during naptime. Another educator teaches her children sign language. After reading Talk Peace by Sam Williams, children discuss the message of peace and harmony from Martin Luther King, Jr. They then make a “Peaceful Hearts” art project and think of something that would make the classroom a peaceful place where everyone is happy and safe.

The classroom environments include dolls in home living and people in the block center with different skin colors. Males and females of different ethnicities and abilities are represented in classroom posters. Food containers, cookbooks, and menus represent a variety of foods from different cultures.

For more information on anti-bias education: https://www.naeyc.org/resources/topics/anti-bias

DAY 15: ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES

Positive stress in a child’s life – like a skinned knee or the first day at a new school – is temporary. Growing up in a safe, stable, nurturing environment that includes healthy adult relationships helps children learn from challenging experiences and develop resilience. However, intense or chronic stress can be toxic and derail a child’s healthy development. Unfortunately, racism is now recognized as an Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) - a toxic source of stress with the potential to disrupt a child’s ability to learn, relate, grow, play, communicate, and problem-solve.

Racism experienced in childhood is especially concerning because it affects how a child perceives themselves and the world around them. Even indirect or implicit racism and discrimination can influence a child’s health when policies and practices lead to ACEs like poverty, neighborhood violence, and parental incarceration that disproportionately affect children of color. It is no surprise that children of color are more likely to experience racism in comparison to their white peers, and that their exposure to racism increases as they grow older.

View this info-graphic that explains how ACEs, like racism and community violence, without supportive adults, can cause what’s known as toxic stress.

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/f7c3e8c5c5cbc6cd069cdecd3/files/f871b0a3-0ff4-4f93-966e-dcea47829101/ACEsInfographic_080218.01.pdf

Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris explains that the repeated stress of abuse, neglect and parents struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues has real, tangible effects on the development of the brain.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95ovIJ3dsNk

WEEK 4: VOTING

Welcome to the fourth week of the 21 Day Racial Equity and social justice challenge. Today we will begin with Racism and The Women’s Suffrage and move into voter suppression, the importance of the census count and look into Anti-Racist verses Non-Racist.

 

DAY 16: RACISM AND THE WOMEN’s SUFFRAGE

 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 played out during the fight for the 19th Amendment. Black women were marginalized in the movement and their contributions sidelined by history. Today, we will look back at these pioneering leaders and how they laid the groundwork for universal suffrage and the civil rights movement.

Read this article about the African American 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. https://www.womenshistory.org/articles/votes-women-means-votes-black-women

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. https://nmaahc.si.edu/blog-post/5-you-should-know-african-american-suffragists

DAY 17: HISTORY OF VOTER SUPPRESSION

 Today, we are looking at the history of voter suppression and how people of color were systemically kept from the ballot box, as well as the challenges they had to overcome in order to exercise their right to vote. Today’s activities will provide much-needed context for tomorrow’s challenge, which will show how voter suppression has changed over time and how it is disenfranchising marginalized communities today.

1890-1960’s Voter Literacy Tests were designed to disenfranchise people of color from voting (white men were exempt). 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. https://allthatsinteresting.com/voting-literacy-test

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. https://www.aclu.org/issues/voting-rights/voting-rights-act/history-voting-rights-act

DAY 18: VOTER SUPPRESSION TODAY

Yesterday you learned about voter suppression and its impact on American history and people of color. Today, we are going to learn how voter suppression continues to impact our democracy and disenfranchise marginalized groups. 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 those barriers, so that our representatives and laws reflect our increasingly diverse country.

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. https://newrepublic.com/article/151858/americas-relentless-suppression-black-voters

Read about how Tennessee’s disenfranchisement laws are among the most complicated and onerous in the country. Tennessee prevents people from voting if they have been convicted of a felony and are incarcerated, on parole or probation, owe court fines and fees, owe restitution, or are not current in child support payments.

https://www.tennessean.com/story/opinion/2019/02/05/aclu-voting-rights-disenfranchisement-american-civil-liberties-union-tennessee/2779658002/

DAY 19: THE U.S. CENSUS

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 unsung program impacts the lives of every American without most of us even realizing it. Before you begin, review the maps of Tennessee and Virginia areas where an undercounting in the 2020 Census is predicted and make a note of any observations you have.

TN: https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2020/05/29/2020-census-participation-decline-tennessee/5266195002/

VA: https://www.virginiamercury.com/2019/04/11/without-outreach-funding-it-will-be-harder-to-count-virginias-children-immigrants-and-senior-citizens-in-2020/

Read this article from Census.gov about the importance of counting children in the 2020 Census and its impact on driving health policy. https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census/2020-census/research-testing/undercount-of-young-children.html?#

Listen to YWCA USA’s Organize Your Butterflies podcast about their YWomenCount campaign to encourage everyone to participate in the 2020 census. https://ywomencount.org/resources/we-all-count-census-2020/

DAY 20: HOW TO BE AN ANTI-RACIST

 "Anti-racism is the active process of identifying and eliminating racism by changing systems, organizational structures, policies and practices and attitudes, so that power is redistributed and shared equitably." - NAC International Perspectives: Women and Global Solidarity http://www.aclrc.com/antiracism-defined

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. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/video/2016/jan/13/marlon-james-are-you-racist-video

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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnfKgffCZ7U&feature=youtu.be

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. https://www.npr.org/local/309/2019/10/30/774704183/historian-ibram-x-kendi-on-how-to-be-an-antiracist

VOTING

We know that change starts at the local level—and we know how crucial it is to support women, in particular women and girls of color, this election season and beyond. As one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the country, we are especially committed to doing our part to make sure women get to the polls, and that our experiences and needs are valued, represented and made a priority to those we elect to public office.

Voting is critical to ensuring a healthy, safe, empowered future for us, our families, and our communities. Make sure you, your friends and loved ones are registered to vote, be sure to double-check your registration, and make sure to show up to the polls! Click on the links below to get started.  This is your voice, your vote, your future.

TN:  https://ovr.govote.tn.gov/
VA:  https://vote.elections.virginia.gov/VoterInformation

 

2020 CENSUS

The 2020 Census is extremely important to us at the YWCA. The census is not just a headcount, but determines political representation, allocation of more than $675 billion in state and federal funding to communities each year, and so much more.

It takes just 10 minutes to make a 10-year impact. Fill out the 2020 Census before August 14th online, by phone, or by mail from the comfort of your own home -- responses help fund community programs and resources that ensure success for the next decade.

COMPLETE THE CENSUS

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