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Introduction to the Equity & Empowerment Lens (Racial Justice Focus) Oregon Campus Compact Shifting Through the Clutter Sunday, February 24, 2013 Sonali.

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction to the Equity & Empowerment Lens (Racial Justice Focus) Oregon Campus Compact Shifting Through the Clutter Sunday, February 24, 2013 Sonali."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction to the Equity & Empowerment Lens (Racial Justice Focus) Oregon Campus Compact Shifting Through the Clutter Sunday, February 24, 2013 Sonali S. Balajee & Josh Todd, Consultants

2 2 Purpose of Presentation: 1. Develop common understanding of the basic concepts and terms of equity and racial justice; 2. Connect personal experiences and passions to the topic of equity and racial justice; 3. Apply one equity tool in the review and analysis of a decision making process recently used by Neighborhood House. 2

3 “Organizations move in the direction of the questions they ask.” --Sonali S. Balajee 3

4 Briefly introduce yourself to your partner. Choose who will go first. You have 1 minute to say whatever comes to mind when you hear: Neighborhood House Trade roles

5 You have 1 minute to say whatever comes to mind when you hear: POWER After 1 Minute-Trade roles

6 You have 1 minute to say whatever comes to mind when you hear: EQUITY After 1 Minute-Trade roles

7 How are Positive Community Outcomes Connected to Social Justice? Inequities are disparities that result from preventable, systemic conditions, policies, and institutional practices Action to eliminate inequities requires a perspective and a conceptual framework grounded in principles of social justice

8 Neighborhood House Mission –To provide opportunities for individuals to enhance the quality of their lives. Vision –To break the cycle of poverty for our children and our families.

9 Why Are We Focusing on Race / Ethnicity? Racial and ethnic inequities prevent our organization and community from fulfilling our overall potential We move toward our vision of breaking the cycle of poverty by eliminating the root causes of such inequities many of which are compounded by race.

10 Why Are We Focusing on Race / Ethnicity? We have made strides in reducing some health inequities in recent years, but research still shows: Overall, people of color have worse outcomes than Whites in Oregon. In Multnomah County, white individuals on average earn $33,100/year while people of color earn $16,600/year. Half the rate of whites.

11 “Personal transformation can and does have global effects. As we go so goes the world, for the world is us. The revolution that will save the world is ultimately a personal one.” -Marianne Williamson

12 A Few Key Definitions Equity: An ideal and a goal. --Ensures that everyone has the resources to succeed --Fair and just distribution of resources --Just decision-making and involvement processes, leading to greater shared power and involvement of communities most affected by inequities

13 A Few Key Definitions Inequities: Systemic, avoidable, unfair and unjust differences in indicators of success

14 A Few Key Definitions Root Causes: The underlying causes of health inequities, and include: --unjust decision-making; --disempowering engagement processes; --inequities in living and working conditions, access to transportation and proper food sources; and --racism, classism, and other forms of discrimination (sexism, homophobia, disabilism, ageism, etc.)

15 A Few Key Definitions Empowerment: A social-action process in which individuals and groups act to gain mastery over their lives in the context of changing their social and political environment. Source: Wallerstein, 1992

16 Why an Equity AND Empowerment Lens? Equity is an ideal and a goal, not a process Connection to definition of equity: improved and just distribution of resources and voice / power Individual, organizational, and community empowerment are the means to achieving equity Keeps critical thinking about the social, economic, and environmental context at the forefront

17 A Few Key Definitions Prejudice: –Having inflexible and irrational preconceived beliefs or attitudes held by members of one group about another. Discrimination: –Behaviors or actions irrationally based on prejudice directed towards another group or individual.

18 A Few Key Definitions Racism: *Conduct, words, or practices which advantage or disadvantage people because of their culture, ethnic origin, language, or color. *It is just as damaging in obvious forms as it is in less obvious and subtle forms, and is still called racism whether intentional or unintentional. Source: (Lopes and Thomas, 2006)

19 A Few Key Definitions Racism, continued: Only members of the dominant social group can exhibit racism because racism is: prejudice + the privilege of belonging to the group who possesses institutional power to enforce it. 19

20 A Few Key Definitions Structural Racism: “…a system in which public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations, and other norms work to reinforce and perpetuate racial group inequity. It identifies dimensions of our history and culture that have allowed privileges associated with ‘whiteness’ and disadvantages associated with ‘color’ to endure and adapt over time.” Source: PolicyLink,

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22 Causes of Wealth/Income Inequities Root Factors Poverty Discrimination Immigration status Institutional power --the ‘-isms’ Neighborhood Conditions Toxic contaminants Joblessness Unequal education Poor transportation Inadequate access to food and exercise Marketing of unhealthy products Unhealthy housing Land use Access to healthy food Voter participation Risk Behaviors Gambling Unbanked Violence Hopelessness No/Poor Credit ? Adapted from: Prevention Institute. The Imperative of Reducing Health Disparities through Prevention: Challenges, Implications, and Opportunities, October, Negative Outcome Complete Disconnection Homelessness Bankruptcy ? UpstreamDownstream Funding for Financial Literacy Individual Services IDA (Individual Development Accounts)

23 Solutions to Wealth/Income Inequities Root Factors Poverty Racial discrimination Immigration status Institutional power --the ‘-isms’ Neighborhood Conditions Toxic contaminants Joblessness Unequal education Poor transportation Inadequate access to food and exercise Risk Behaviors Gambling Unbanked Violence Hopelessness No/Poor Credit ? Adapted from: Prevention Institute. The Imperative of Reducing Health Disparities through Prevention: Challenges, Implications, and Opportunities, October, Negative Outcome Complete Disconnection Homelessness Bankruptcy ? UpstreamDownstream Resources for Community capacity-building Policy advocacy Social and economic policy change Equity, Empowerment, Cultural Responsive trainings

24 Relational Worldview Model Values: Balance Inclusion Systems Empowerment Relationship Sustainability Connects: Land Resources People Shared power Spirit and purpose 24 CONTEXTMIND SPIRITBODY

25 Video: Unnatural Causes

26 End of Part 1

27 What was one thing you heard that was new or an “aha” moment? What was one thing you heard which was confirmed by experiences you have had at Neighborhood House?

28 BREAK

29 “Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person. Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies." --Mother Teresa

30 Part II Choose a key moment/decision in your life that was driven by your values.

31 Part II In small groups at your table have three or more people share their decision and highlights from the handout questions.

32 Part III In table groups answer questions from handout. Be prepared to share key highlights from your conversation with the large group.

33 Closing/Next Steps “One of the things I learnt when I was negotiating was that until I changed myself I could not change others.” -Nelson Mandela

34 Be the change… Name one barrier to integrating this information in your daily work at Neighborhood House. Share one concrete action that you can do to address this barrier.

35 Feel free to contact us with questions or further information:

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37 37 How are trainings developed, prioritized, delivered in partnership with racial/ethnic communities? Who benefits and who is harmed by decisions around the training in terms of experiencing emotional, physical, mental, spiritual health? How can we better promote and educate on the impact of social determinants ?

38 Thinking Upstream

39 Thinking Upstream, cont. Where are policies, practices, and overall decision-making unjust, unfair, and overall, leading to racial discrimination? What barriers (political, financial, emotional, legal, etc.) exist in identifying and addressing root causes? How can I as an individual better contribute to eliminating racism and the ‘-isms’ in my own work via empowering behaviors?

40 Racial Equity and Social Change: Outcome Areas Racial Equity and Social Change: Outcome Areas Shift in social and cultural norms Strengthened organizational capacity Strengthened partnerships and alliances Strengthened base of support Improved policies Changes in social impact Source: Measuring Policy and Advocacy, Annie E. Casey Foundation

41 “ The things we fear most in organizations…fluctuations, disturbances, imbalances…are the primary sources of creativity.” --Margaret J. Wheatley 41

42 Barriers to this Work Lack of acknowledgement and understanding of historically inequitable policies, official and unofficial (employment, housing & homeownership, education, health care, loans, etc.) and their effect on individuals, communities, orgs Organizational and individual resistance to change as well as sharing power The ‘–isms’ in practice

43 “Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood." --Marie Curie, Physicist and first woman to win the Nobel Prize 43

44 Transformational Change and the Lens Environmental conditions A culture of innovation and improvement Balance promotion of learning environments while maintaining efficiency / service Empowering strategies utilized We are all leaders Cultural humility Valuing and embodying respect, inclusion, honesty, courage Integrating diverse talents, perspectives


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