|Racial Equity & Economic Security|
Structural racism explores the causes of the enormous racial disparities that exist in income, wealth, education, housing, employment, and crime throughout our society. The lens of structural racism points out the interrelated causes of persistent poverty. For example, inadequate housing and a weak local economy result in a low tax base which leads to poor schools that do not prepare people for the workplace adequately and thus they cannot make a livable wage in this economy. Using the structural racism lens helps explain why siloed approaches to reducing poverty may not reach the goals we desire.
The Racial Equity and Economic Security (REES)project, a two-year project funded by the Ford
Foundation, has been conducting workshops at Community Action Partnership
Conventions and Conferences and REES teams, led by community action agencies,
are implementing projects in seven communities. We have heard from you that some Agencies are already
undertaking projects to promote racial equity. We want to hear more about these
projects and how we might share what we are learning through REES more
If you are conducting or want to conduct a Diversity, Racial
Equity, Structural Racism, or Social Justice project focused on race, we ask
you to please click here to complete this short survey.
have any questions or want more information, please contact Mary Virtue at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please send your survey response to both Mary and to Don
Mathis at the Partnership email@example.com
Training Programs that Address Racism
Teams from each of these sites have had the opportunity to
attend a four day Seminar on Racial Equity and Society presented by the Aspen
Institute. When they returned
home, they began to build partnerships and educate people in their community. The REES page on the Community
Action Partnership's website has two PowerPoint presentations that team members
are using. These both provide a
very good 45 minute introduction to Structural Racism and are extremely
valuable tools for the community action network.
In addition to these introductory presentations, some
communities are looking for deeper training opportunities. The Aspen Institute has prepared Training
for Racial Equity and Inclusion: A Guide to Selected Programs to allow community leaders to compare a variety of
available programs. This guide
describes ten programs in terms of whether the focus is on individual,
intergroup or structural racism; their approach to training; and, their
intended outcomes. You
can download this guide from http://www.everyday-democracy.org/en/Issue.1.aspx .
Most of the programs in the guide require trained
facilitators, but one is designed to encourage communities to move forward on
their own. The Study Circles methodology fosters dialogues that explore public
issues and challenge current practices through a process that emphasizes
democratic discourse and action.
This model offers clear materials on its website to support peer
facilitators. Go to http://www.everyday-democracy.org/en/Issue.1.aspx .
The Guide also raised
a few overall concerns about the training programs they assessed. One is that too few programs are
"grounded in sociological, political and economic theories that directly
address the structural dimensions of racism - and too few programs transcend
the individual and intergroup relations to address systemic racism." Another challenge is to translate
awareness into action. These are
exactly the points that our REES teams are working to address as they engage
partners in their work to eliminate racial disparities in education,
employment, asset development or child care.
A valuable resource from one of the REES sites is Weaving Diversity into the Fabric of America, written by Deborah Clements Blanks, CEO of Social Development Commission in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This book includes background information, diversity stories, self- tests and tools for specific work situations. It aims to help us appreciate the vantage point of others and be better able to gain from the insights of people whose race and background are very different from ours. This book may be purchased from www.kairocom.com.
Social Development Commission in Milwaukee, WI held a Public Hearing on Black Male Joblessness. The SDC Public Hearing Presentation explains how and why the public hearing was organized.Click here to download this powerpoint presentation.
Social Development Commission in Milwaukee, WI has developed a game that can bring African American History to life for students and adults. Follow this link to find out more about it. http://www.cr-sdc.org/CulturalProducts/CulturalProd.html
Please email your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
REES Leadership Seminar
This prestigious national project of the Community Action Partnership and funded by the Ford Foundation is exploring the assumption that place-based strategies to reduce poverty and enhance economic security are more effective when they take the racial inequalities that are a result of structural racism into account in their program design.
To learn about this assumption, eight community teams attended a Leadership Seminar on Racial Equity and Society conducted by the Aspen Institute Roundtable for Community Change and African American Policy Forum. The Seminar provided background on structural racism, strategies for communicating these concepts, and a framework for designing projects to address racial inequities. From this experience, tools will be developed and lessons learned will be captured and disseminated throughout the community action network.
Our community teams will benefit from the knowledge and experience of a National Advisory Committee which includes Anne Kubisch and Raymond Codrington (Aspen Institute Roundtable on Community Change), James Norman (Partnership board representative and project site coordinator), Suzanne Siskel (Ford Foundation), Maya Wiley (Center for Social Inclusion), and Mary Virtue (Project Director). Don Mathis (President of Community Action Partnership) is an Ex-Officio member of the Advisory Committee so that he can identify the places where this project will most effectively link with other Partnership training programs and conferences. What you can find on this webpage Our lead organizations will share tools and frameworks with their colleagues. These tools and other frameworks will be designed to assist communities in their own analyses and discussions about racial inequities and their impacts. In addition, Mary Virtue, the Project Director, will document lessons learned, both positive and negative. All these tools, as well as PowerPoints, video clips and articles from Aspen Institute, Center for Social Inclusion and African American Policy Forum, will be available as downloads or links from this webpage.
A Framework for Understanding the Causes of Racial Inequalities in 21st Century America , a powerpoint presentation by Ty Sturdivant.
Racial Equity and Economic Security: Response to Structural Racism, presented by Don Mathis and Lois Carson
Also from a panel on Racial Equity as a lens for Anti-Poverty Program Design , John Edwards, Jr., Northeast Florida Community Action Agency, Inc.
Deborah Blanks, Chief Executive Officer
Second REES Webinar
Community Action Agencies Working With Racial Equity Outcomes with Mary Virtue and John Edwards, Jr.
Please click here to listen and view.