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Contesting The Challenges We Confront!

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Presentation on theme: "Contesting The Challenges We Confront!"— Presentation transcript:

1 Contesting The Challenges We Confront!
Poverty, Health Inequities, Violence, Problematic Juvenile Policies, Drug Use and Incarceration, and Educational Inequity How are we expected to move forward and succeed if we exist in systems that are made for us to fail?

2 Challenge 1: Poverty, Behind poverty's closed doors
Prepared by: I’shmie Lewis, Qiana Knight, Shekeyah Hodge, Ashley Stephens-Brown, Luis Santana, Stephanie Martinez and Esther Pascal

3 POWERFUL STATISTICS In 2000, more than half the working poor were women; 60% were white and 35% were Black or Latino. More than half (52.6%) of full-time workers earned poverty wages in 2004. Percentage of single mothered homes were at 54.8% in 2007; Afr. Am. 26.1%, Asians 12.5%, Hispanics 25.6%. Source: Radical Possibilities by Jean Ayron pg 19,

4 Government Definition of Poverty (Source: Anyon, 2005 p.25).
Defined based on 1960s price for a minimal food budget (used in war on poverty). That number was multiplied by 3 to cover housing and health-care costs and adjusted for family size. Today those figures are outdated.

5 Poverty Most poverty occurs in urban areas Consequences of poverty:
Twice the amount of working class families face Most are full-time workers who face hardships but the gov’t definition of poverty does not include these families. Consequences of poverty: Low-wage work (wages determined solely by congress – a political decision) Too few jobs

6 Our Goal in this first segment…
Poverty affects people everywhere. Our purpose in this documentary is to demonstrate the challenges that people who live in poverty in Boston face daily. In particular, we will show a documentary about the lives of two girls, add our own opinion, and hopefully surprise you with some new facts. We want to portray the stories and facts of poverty.

7 Challenge 2: High School Education in the U.S.
Prepared by Roxxane Tavares and Esther Pascal

8 DROP OUT EPIDEMIC! It is estimated that about 2,500 students drop out of U.S. high schools every day. Every 29 seconds another student gives up on school, resulting in more than one million American high school students who drop out every year. Nearly one half of all African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans—fail to graduate from public high school with their class There are nearly 2,000 high schools in the U.S. where 40 percent of the typical freshman class leaves school by its senior year

9 Re-Segregation? The average white student attends school where more than 80 percent of the students are white and less than 20 percent are minority. By 1996, the percentage of black students in an integrated school had fallen below the level established before busing for integration began as a national policy in By the year 2005, colored students were more segregated in public schools than at any time since 1968. In a ruling on Thursday, June 28th, 2007, our own Supreme Court struck down the use of race as a tool for integration, effectively dismantling the Brown v. Board of Education decision of 1954.  Justice Clarence Thomas, a Conservative Justice who voted in favor of the ruling, went on to say, “The plans before us base school assignment decisions on students' race. Because our Constitution is colorblind and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens, such race-based decision making is unconstitutional.” 

10 When it comes to Presidential campaigns how often do you hear about Education?
Bob Herbert, New York Times Columnist, says, “We don’t hear a great deal about education in the presidential campaign. It’s much too serious a topic to compete with such fun stuff as Hillary tossing back a shot of whiskey, or Barack rolling a gutter ball.” (A Media Report on Education “Clueless In America”) No one seems to have the will to engage any of the most serious challenges facing the U.S. With education being one of those issues.

11 While we’re effectively standing in place, other nations are catching up and passing us when it comes to educational achievement.

12 The fact is, as Herbert finalizes his article, there's work to be done!

13 References Herbert, B. (April 22, 2008). Clueless in America [online]

14 Prepared by Ovidio “Junito” Sanchez and Ivanna Bennett
Challenge 3: Violence Prepared by Ovidio “Junito” Sanchez and Ivanna Bennett

15 Challenge 4: Juvenile Injustices
Prepared by: Rahwa Gebrai, Naomi DeJesus, And Philip Lindsey

16 Historical Trend in Juvenile Crime
In the past several decades juveniles younger than age 18 have roughly committed one- third of serious property crime arrest. Juveniles have also done less than one- fifth of all serious violent crime for which people were arrested in America In the mid 80’s and 90’s the crime rate for juveniles rose by 75% The murder arrest doubled Gun-involved homicides by juveniles tripled between 1984 and 1994.

17 Aren’t Youths getting Worse?
This may be a surprise to you but we are not. According to the data collected in California, as the teens in this state evolved the number of teen problems of every kind decreased.

18 Attitude towards Juvenile Crimes
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Administrator J. Robert Flores noted, “In 1993, there were a total of 1,077 homicides in Los Angeles. Law enforcement linked to gang members to exactly 346 of these homicides. In 2001, there were a total of 587 homicides in Los Angeles - just over half the number in But the number of gang related homicides in 2001 was exactly the same as it was in 1993: 346 gang homicides.” This means that gang crime and activity remained constant. Yet the policies governing crimes committed by teens became stricter

19 Juveniles and the Death Penalty
At the close of 2001, 18 was the minimum age for the death penalty in 15 states. 17 was the minimum age for the death penalty in 5 states. 16 was the minimum age for the death penalty in 17 states.

20 At what Age Can Youths be Tried as An Adult?
No minimum age: D.C., Georgia, Florida, Maryland, Tennessee, Rhode Island Age 10: Kansas and Vermont Age 13: Mississippi, New York, North Carolina Age 14: Alabama, Massachusetts, New Jersey, California, Texas, Virginia This is even more problematic given that the U.S. is one of 2 countries that has not ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

21 Juvenile Rights Juvenile cases are processed very slowly even though the sixth amendment in the constitution guarantees “Speedy and Public Trail” In 1991 & 1992 juvenile courts in 16 states had a median disposition referral of about 40 days, however 26% of the cases exceeded 90 days of disposition.

22 A Teen’s Perspective on his Post-Conviction Experiences
Interview conducted by student, Philip Lindsey Interviewee discusses: Peer pressure and the importance of parental guidance Police brutality and racial profiling Difficulty gaining employment post-conviction

23 References Ferro, J. (2003). Juvenile Crime. New York, NY: Facts On File, Inc. Myers, D. L. (2005). Boys Among Men: Trying and Sentencing Juveniles as Adults. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, Guarino-Ghezzi, S., Loughran, E. J. (2004). Balancing Juvenile Justice. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction

24 Challenges 5: Incarceration
Prepared by: Christine Casanova, Anthonina Fenelon, Jadira Franco, Victor Gonzalez, Jazzmyn Howell, Kaylisha Miskel, Marlene Oliveira, Fatumata Sheriff, Roxxane Tavares.

25 Rate of Incarceration in The U.S. is The Highest in the World!
1 in 37 adults living in the United States, will wind up in jail. If the current trends continue, it means that a black male in the United States would have about a 1 in 3 chance of going to prison during his lifetime. For a Hispanic male, it's 1 in 6; for a white male, 1 in 17 (Males, 2006, p

26 Consequences of Incarcertation
Statistics show that Black juveniles receive harsher treatment in confinement and rehabilitation facilities as well as harsher sentencing in court (“Race and Incarceration in the United States” 2).

27 The impact of incarceration Does Not End with the Sentence one Receives...
Former inmates can be excluded from receiving public assistance, living in public housing, or receiving financial aid for college. Ex-felons are prohibited from voting in many states. And with the increased use of background checks - especially since 9/11 - they may be permanently locked out of jobs in many professions, including education, child care, driving a bus, or working in a nursing home. By Gail Russell Chaddock | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

28 Incarceration: Samples of several open-responses: Why are so many youths in Jail?
Themes: No money, no money, no skills, not much to do, government conspiracy “I believe there are so many young people in jail because there isn’t enough for them to do. Even if there are programs they can go to most of them are not well funded and don’t keep their interest long enough for them to stay out of the streets.” “Kids drop out. Have no money or skills or even confidence to go anywhere in life. Find easy money on the streets. Fights anyone who stops them from that money. That’s it.” “There are so many people in jail because there is no guidance nowadays for people. There is no counseling, jobs for people who have come out of jail so they end up doing the bad behaviors they were doing before going into jail.” “There are so many young people in jail because the government wants to ruin the lives of people who haven't even had a chance to grow up.”

29 Incarceration: Samples of several open-responses: What do you think life is like after Jail?
“It’s like breaking a bad habit. You begin to lose sensibility on right and wrong. Justified and unjustified. You definitely feel the alienation. And since refusing to handle challenges in life is probably what got you in jail, the challenge of staying out is another challenge most don’t care to overcome.” “Life after jail must be hard because society especially in the United States marks you for life if you committed a crime. Society makes it difficult for you to have a job and maintain one. Hard for you to get back to the life you had before you went to jail.” “It is hard because it is like you have been black listed and they don’t let you live the same although you have paid your time back to the society”

30 What Kept you out of Trouble?
Theme: Parents, school and future prospects “I study hard and do extracurricular activities which keep me from getting into trouble as well as common sense and the morals and values my mother instilled in me” “My family, friends, mentors, school, and jobs I held. All the values I have for myself.” “The fear of my parents and messing up a bright future” “I think my parents and my brother had a lot to do with keeping me out of trouble. Also people who I saw going through the system showed me it wasn't where I wanted to be.” “School. Knowing that I want to go far in life.”

31 Incarceration “Jails and prisons are designed to break human beings, to convert the population into specimens in a zoo-obedient to our keepers, but dangerous to each other.” - Angela Davis (

32 Sources

33 Challenge 6: Health Inequities
Prepared and presented by Chiuba Obele and Samsul Mahmood

34 Community Health? The I in illness is isolation, and the crucial letters in wellness are we.”  --- Mimi Guarneri, The Heart Speaks: A Cardiologist Reveals the Secret Language of Healing

35 Community Health? A healthy community is one that embraces the belief that health is more than merely an absence of disease; a healthy community includes those elements that enable people to maintain a high quality of life and productivity. --Healthy People 2010 A community that is continuously creating and improving those physical and social environments and expanding those community resources that enable people to mutually support each other in performing all the functions of life and in developing to their maximum potential." --The Centers for Disease Control, Designing and Building Healthy Places

Communities of color suffer from environmental risks to their overall health, wellbeing, and life expectancy. They experience worse health outcomes across a broad spectrum of illnesses, injuries, and treatments. The most powerful factors indicating both health and health disparities are social and economic determinants that shape the conditions of the community. Elements of institutional racism and the impact of poverty are chiefly to blame for creating disparities among income, racial, and ethnic groups….

37 An Interview with Peter Holgtrave,
Documentary Clip An Interview with Peter Holgtrave, the Boston Area Health Education Center (BAHEC)

38 Boston’s Population by Race and Ethnicity (1990 and 2000)

39 Boston’s Populatioan Living in Poverty (2000)

40 Treatment based on Race/Ethnicity


42 Life Expectancy of Boston Residents

43 Infant Mortality in Boston

44 Obesity among Teens and Adults in Boston

45 Leading Illnesses for Blacks

46 What does this prove? Black Bostonians, as a group, have worse health than all other residents Social and environmental issues – poverty, greatly influence the health of individuals, families and populations. Lower income and education levels of Black and Latino Bostonians do not adequately explain the city’s health disparities Personal behavior such as smoking – while important to health – also does not adequately explain the disparities.

47 Health in your Community
Youth-Initiated Research Health in your Community Preliminary Findings of Survey designed and administered By: Chiuba Obele and Samsul Mahmood

48 The Participants of Survey
Most people were African American % Many were 17 years old—46.9% 67.3% have at least one member born outside of US 66.0% of the students do not receive Welfare benefits: food stamps, free or Reduced School Lunch Programs 89.6% of those surveyed live in a house, condo, or apartment owned or rented by parent/guardian 81.6% visited the doctor during the last 12 months and 71.4%visited the dentist during the last 12 months 85.1% students have health care

49 The highlights of our survey
75.7% of our surveyors felt that they were discriminated because of their race and ethnicity 51.1% of those surveyed know someone who does not have health care 30.0% of those surveyed skipped, or have a family member who skipped, a medical test, treatment or follow-up recommended by doctor because of cost 30.0% of those surveyed had to choose between paying for medical care or prescriptions and other essential needs (rent, utilities, etc).

50 Antidote

51 Our health matters! Diseases of the soul are more dangerous and more numerous than those of the body.  ~Cicero Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit.  When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul open.  ~B.K.S. Iyengar He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything.  ~Arabic Proverb It's no coincidence that four of the six letters in health are "heal."  ~Ed Northstrum

52 A Responsibility for us! A Responsibility for ALL!
The success or failure of any government must be measured by the well-being of its citizens. Nothing can be more important to a state than its public health; the state’s paramount concern should be the health of its people * * * We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can built our youth for the future! ~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt

53 World Café Activity: A Community Dialogue
What, if anything, about our presentation stands out to you? How might you help us make positive changes at home, in school, in our communities and in the systems (e.g. economic, legal, educational, political), that govern what we do every day?

54 Before you View Our Work and Read Profiling Poems, let us tell you a little about the Poems…
These poems [offer a glimpse into] how and what shapes our social world– [a world that you often do not see].” (Jocson, 2006, p.131). These poems tell of our strength and resilience. The “I am from” phrase is a strategy for “moving the poem forward” (Christensen, 2000, p.20) that was borrowed from Linda Christensen’s book Reading, Writing and Rising Up: Teaching about Social Justice and the Power of the Written Word.

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