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Creating A More Equitable America

Time May 24/May 31, 2021 pp80-91 |The Equity Agenda| “40 ways forward ACTIONABLE STEPS FOR A MORE EQUITABLE AMERICA”

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The list and quotes excerpted by 2244

VOTE-Cliff Albright (Co-founder of Black Voters Matter) “You can’t have equity if you don’t have large participation in the voting process.”

END FAMILY DETENTION-Bridget Cambria (Executive Director of Aldea-the People’s Justice Center) “Family detention is ‘a travesty of human rights’”

ENACT UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE-Ady Barkan (Activist) writes “Medicare to all would give everyone health care for free at the point of service” Tens of millions of Americans go without “healthcare they need.”

REFORM THE THRIFTY FOOD PLAN-Parker L. Gilkesson (Policy Analyst) The 46 year old federal government’s Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) needs adjusting to reflect the current economy. TFP falls short of covering “the full cost of food.”

INTEGRATE SCHOOLS-Noliwe Rooks (Scholar of race and gender at Cornell University) writes “Segregated, unequal and underfunded schools, and the education received in them, constitute an underacknowledged form of structural or institutional racism that, over time harms as surely as physical violence.”

PAY WORKERS FAIR WAGE-Alejandro de la Garza (Writer for Time) The federal minimum wage has been $7.25 for more than a decade but if it had tracked with inflation and productivity it “would stand at more than $20 per hour.”

INVEST IN ELIMINATING ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS AND PROTECTING THE MOST VULNERABLE-Justin Worland (Writer for Time) “More than 1 million people lack access to piped water in their homes”…more than 1,300 Superfund sites…sit…threatening local communities…hazards that disproportionately burden communities of color…[and] many children [are] drinking lead [contaminated] water.”

EMPOWER HOMEGROWN PEACEMAKERS-Paul Carrillo (Community Violence Initiative director of Giffords Law Center) “identify community members with lived experience…deployed as community-violence-intervention workers.”

KEEP POLICE FOCUSED ON CRIME-Josiah Bates (Writer for Time) “Police mostly respond to noncriminal incidents…”realign them to assist but not be first responders for noncriminal incidents"having them standby“where there is a potential for violence.”

IMPLEMENT UNIVERSAL HOUSING VOUCHERS-Wes Moore (CEO of Robinhood) The federal “Housing Choice Voucher Programs (Section 8) [that pays rent directly to the landlord] falls short of meeting all that are eligible. “A home is more than a building block for children and families to grow and advance their dreams. It’s a basic human right.”

ESTABLISH A PATHWAY TO CITIZENSHIP-Claudio Rojas (Activist lived two years without his family)-“The day undocumented people can express themselves without fear, the country will be a more equal place.”

CEDE DECISION-MAKING POWER IN HOLLYWOOD-Tanya Saracho (TV creator). “We have either been stereotyped or missing from the narrative throughout Hollywood’s history” by executives that are predominantly male and white.

ENHANCE REPRESENTATION IN C-SUITES AND BOARDROOMS-Dame Vivian Hunt (Sr. Partner at McKinsey & Co.) “Research shows that more diverse organizations … are more profitable; 25% more likely for gender diversity and 36% more likely for ethnic diversity.”

PROVIDE APPROPRIATE MENTAL-HEALTH CARE-Dr Amanda Calhoun (Psychiatric Resident Physician at Yale University) writes …”mental-health care in the U.S. has long dehumanized Black patients…providers must learn about the mental-health effects of racism…”

INVEST IN LOW-COST SPORTS PROGRAMS AT THE COMMUNITY LEVEL-Sean Gregory (Writer for Time). “For kids, the benefits of physical activity are clear: playing sports can lead to better educational, social and health outcomes. But for too many families, the process of swinging a bat or shooting a ball, is far too steep…Investing in low-cost, community-based opportunities for young Americans can help reduce inequality and cut long-term health care costs.”

PRESERVE AND EXPAND EARLY VOTING-Sanya Mansour (Writer for Time) “Trying to vote on one Tuesday in November clearly doesn’t work for everyone.”

MAKE COLLEGE DEBT-FEE-Wil Del Pilar (Vice President for the Education Trust) “Colleges are engines of upward mobility.” “Among the biggest hurdles [for low income students are] College’s rising costs and student debt.”

REFORM TAXATION TO NARROW THE WEALTH GAP-Dorothy A. Brown (author of The Whiteness of Wealth)-Income from stock gains, not in a 401K, is only 20% compared with wages that are taxed up to 37%. Stock ownership, not in a 401K, is much higher in white Americans than black or Hispanic etc. and is estimated to account for about “23% toward the wealth gap for Black and Hispanic households. “Income from stock must be taxed the same way as income from wages.”

OFFER PAID, EQUALLY SHARED FAMILY LEAVE-Melissa Murray (NYU Law Professor) “In order to encourage shared caregiving, some advanced democracies like Iceland and Sweden allocate paid family leave equally to both parents-and it can’t be transferred.

CLOSE THE DIGITAL DIVIDE-Pauline Cachero (Writer for Time) “It is imperative that we think about digital access as an insecurity like we look at food and housing” says Nicol Turner Lee (Director of the Brookings Center for Technology Innovation)

PROHIBIT EMPLOYERS FROM SILENCING ACCUSERS-Eliana Dockterman (Writer for Time) notes that “Companies wield mandatory arbitration clauses and nondisclosure agreements like a sword and shield to protect employees who engage in misconduct…studies show workers win less often in arbitration than in court…equity takes intentionality…creating an equitable workplace shouldn’t be the job of the chief diversity officer, but truly of all employees.”

DIVERSIFY THE WORKFORCE, AND SET UP ALL EMPLOYEES FOR SUCCESS-Minda Harts (Founder and CEO of the Memo) writes “Many of us may work for the same company or organization but experience that workplace very differently…the first step is hiring more thoughtfully-which means more employees from underrepresented backgrounds at all levels of the company.”

INVEST IN PUBLIC-INTEREST TECHNOLOGY-Darren Walker (Ford Foundation President) writes we must “enact policy to ensure technology serves those historically subject to discrimination…”

EMBRACE A HOLISTIC APPROACH TO READING-Lisa Lucas (Publisher) writes “So much of who we are as adults comes from what we’re exposed to as kids…but for a long time, one group has decided for us which stories-histories and fiction alike-are worthwhile.”

CREATE AN INDEPENDENT BODY TO REVIEW POLICER KILLINGS-Josiah Bates (Writer for Time) informs us that activists propose that agencies “appoint independent bodies to investigate and decide whether to prosecute police shootings.”

COMMIT TO RAISING EQUITY-CONSCIOUS CHILDREN-Brene Brown (Researcher) writes “Who we are, how we show up, our behaviors-these are much better predictors of who our children will be and what they’ll believe about themselves and the world.”

ENSURE ALL PEOPLE HAVE ACCESS TO GENDER-AFFIRMING HEALTH CARE-Dr. Rachel Levine (Assistant Secretary for Health) writes we need to turn awareness “into action by working together across agencies and organizations. Also, the federal government must continue to lead by example and showcase the importance of full federal LGBTQ equality.”

CHANGE PUBLIC SCHOOL FUNDING-Katie Reilly (Writer for Time) writes according to Ary Amerikaner (Education Trust) “…funding gaps translate to fewer high-quality opportunities everyday.” Federal funding should target schools serving low-income children and “states should target aid to students with the most needs and districts with lower property wealth.”

DISMANTLE ABLEISM-Vilissa Thompson-(Founder of Ramp Your Voice!) notes that “the Americans With Disabilities” needs to be strengthened…help…by eradicating the injustices that impact us.”

ABOLISH THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE-Akhil Reed Amar (Author of The Words That Made Us) “In direct election, the more who show up to vote in state x, the more clout x has in the national count. States would be incentivized to encourage voter turnout.”

END HOMELESSNESS-Chan Crawford (Director, Individual homeless adults for the National Alliance to End Homelessness)-notes “Communities should take full advantage of current resources like vouchers and expanded services to improve housing opportunities. But while this will impact homelessness broadly, without intentional efforts, it may not impact it equitably.”

CREATE UNIVERSAL PRE-K-Lydia Kiesling (Author) writes “High-quality preschools give families options.” “Being unable to send children to preschool forces women out of the workforce and has a negative impact on Black, brown and low-income children who have less access to high-quality programs.”

PROTECT WORKERS FROM ANTI-UNION INTIMIDATION-Abby Vesoulis (Writer for Time)-“Union workers receive 11% higher pay and are more likely to receive employer-sponsored health care and paid sick leave.” Interesting, as an example, Amazon workers had claimed that “more than half…wanted to unionize last year, [yet] less than a third voted to do so in the April election. Some were likely swayed by Amazon’s efforts, which included mandatory anti-union informational sessions…”

ABOLISH CASH BAIL-Keturah J. Herron (ACLU of Kentucky) “Nearly half a million people in the U.S.-43% of them black-are currently detained before trial…For those without the means to pay, cash bail can trigger a set of life-changing events…loss of employment…risk of losing housing and vehicles…ending cash bail is one way to dismantle inequities faced by people who enter the U.S. criminal-justice system.”

PROTECT THE RIGHT TO PROTEST-Fred Hamption Jr. (Activist and Chairman of the Black Panther Party Cubs)-notes …”today bills in 34 states would restrict demonstrations or protect drivers who hit protesters.” Regardless of who one is “people should be able to say whatever reflects their communities’ realities, and articulate their needs without fear of repercussions.”

TEACH SEX AND CONSENT EDUCATION IN SCHOOLS-Tarana Burke (Found of Me Too) “We must mandate comprehensive sex education in schools that is culturally competent and includes instruction on consent…unless we teach this in school, we won’t change the culture.”

IMPROVE DIVERSITY IN CLINICAL RESEARCH TRIALS-Alice Part (Writer for Time) “ensuring people of color…[are]…represented in…studies…[and the] lack of trust in the medical establishment..." are key issues to resolve for many communities.

ENSURE ACCESS TO HIGH QUALITY ARTS EDUCATION-Bahie Ramos (Wallace Foundation) “Ensuring all children have high-quality arts education will help expand their sense of self-and possibility-in the world.”

FOSTER RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN POLICE AND COMMUNITIES-Josiah Bates (Writer for Time) “Law enforcement needs to work to transform their often contentious relationship with disenfranchised communities, which can lead to a cycle of mistrust and violence.”

PRACTICE ALLYSHIP-Kimberly Jones (Author of How We Can Win) “Allyship makes me think of linking up with your favorite cousins at Grandma’s house.” “This work everyone can do…not because they all have perfect relationships but because they know how to work together.”


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