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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 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.

4 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,

5 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 Today those figures are outdated.

6 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

7 A Documentary… Stories of how students and their families have been touched by poverty.

8 Challenge 2: Health Inequities
Prepared and presented by Chiuba Obele and Samsul Mahmood

9 Health Inequities: Causal Factors



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

13 Boston’s Population Living in Poverty (2000)

14 Boston’s Population who think about Race/Ethnicity

15 Bad Treatment based on Race/Ethnicity

16 Perceptions of Health Care in Boston


18 Leading Causes of Illnesses and Death in Boston

19 Life Expectancy of Boston Residents

20 Boston’s Infant Mortality Rate

21 Hospitalization Rates

22 Leading Illinesses


24 Obesity among Teens and Adults in Boston

25 Residents without Health Care and have Poor Health


27 Education Hispanic Office of Planning & Evaluation, Inc. (HOPE)
Roxbury Comprehensive Community Health Center


29 Health in your Community
Preliminary Findings of Survey designed and administered by: Chiuba Obele and Samsul Mahmood

30 The participants in Survey
Most people are African American % Many are 17 years old—46.9% 67.3% have at least one member born outside of US 92 81.6% visited the doctor during the last 12 months and 14.3% student went to the doctor more than 12 months ago Thos who visited the dentist during the last 12 months: 71.4% 18.4% visited the dentist more than 12 months ago.

31 85.1% students have health care; others are not sure and some do not
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 91.7% of those surveyed live with their mothers 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

32 40.4% of the surveyors have MassHealth Insurance
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).

33 Hazardous Industry in the Neighborhood
Presented by Ashley Stephens-Brown based on Research conducted by Staisha Stephens-Brown

34 The Proposed Location:
P R O B L E M ! ! The Proposed Location: Boston’s South End





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

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

41 Who Commits Juvenile Crime?
According to several studies cited in the report, 20% to 45% of male juveniles and 45% to 69% of females who were serious violent offenders initiated their violence in childhood.

42 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

43 Historical Trend in Juvenile Crime
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.

44 Quote: Fact or Fiction? “By the 1920’s, there was a growing concern that white youth were being “seduced” by the new lifestyles of both immigrants and African Americans, all of whom found themselves living side by side in metropolitans centers.” -Juvenile Crime by Jeffrey Ferro

45 Types of Crimes Committed by Youth
In the 70’s More than Two-third of crimes youth committed were not for murder,rape,robbery aggravated assault,burglary,larceny,motor vehicle theft, or Arson

46 Sexual Offense It is estimated that juvenile sex offenders account for up top 20% of rapes and nearly 50% of child molestation that occur in the U.S. every year, according to a report from the Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy at the University of Virginia

47 Child abuse 45% of juveniles who were victims of childhood abuse went on to have a record. Among arrested adults, 42 percent were abused as children, compared with 33% who weren’t abused.

48 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

49 Is Violence Rising among Adolescents?
Many researchers say in the 1960’s-1970’s the crimes increased due to post-world war II “ Baby Boomers” and this has had an after effect on generations to come Youth violence is also becoming an epidemic due to factors of the individual, family,school, and communities.

50 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. (Added by Nina not sure what else to add)

51 Current Crime Rate Among Teens
Juveniles under the age of 18 made up about 1% of prisoners (YEAR?). WHAT ABOUT BOSTON? FIND OUT – check Boston Police website

52 Juvenile Rights Insert several facts from page 301 last paragraph here

53 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.

54 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

55 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.

56 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.

57 Additional Juvenile Detention Statistics
The Bureau of Justice statistics reported that in 1994, 21,000 youths under age 18 were convicted as adults for felony offenses in state courts Studies suggest 40% of juveniles in adult courts are incarcerated.

58 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

59 Challenges 5 and 6: Drug Use and Incarceration
Prepared by: Christine Casanova, Anthonina Fenelon, Jadira Franco, Victor Gonzalez, Jazzmyn Howell, Kaylisha Miskel, Marlene Oliveira, Fatumata Sheriff, Roxxane Tavares.

60 Our Own Data Collection
Used 3 instruments (we designed 2 and used a pre-existing instrument designed by students in California) to collect data from teens about their perspectives on: Drugs Incarceration Educational inequity

61 Who participated in Surveys
Total number of respondents: n = 125 Young adults: yrs. old The majority of people who took these surveys were African-Americans and Latinos.

62 Preliminary Findings… Drugs: Teens are aware of the consequences!
54.3% First found out about drugs between the ages of 10-15 86.1% know someone who is affected by drugs 78.1% indicated that the person they know was introduced to drugs by others in their community 75% Said it is very easy to get drugs 69.4% Said it is more likely for someone who’s been exposed to drugs to go to jail than someone who’s never had that exposure 63.9% Said it’s very likely that a person who sells drug will end up in jail

63 While teens identify mostly those they see or know as drug users, they also know that the problem also occurs in the suburbs: When asked what race they associate most with drugs: 86.1% Said African-Americans 72.2% Said Hispanics 69.4% Said whites Are students in urban cities more likely to do drugs than students in suburban cities? 44.4% said yes 61.1% said no

64 One common response on the effect of drugs on the community…
“The cycle will continue because the kids in that community don't see anything else. They don't know anything positive”

65 Drugs “Today's students can put dope in their veins or hope in their brains. If they can conceive it and believe it, they can achieve it. They must know it is not their aptitude but their attitude that will determine their altitude.” Jesse Jackson (American Civil-Rights Leader, Baptist Minister and Politician, b.1941)

66 Drug Use Distribution: A contradiction? See next slide…

67 Drug Use in the US among Baby Boomers
Source: Beyond Resistance (page 304 ) Baby boomers suffer staggeringly higher levels of drug abuse, criminal arrest, imprisonment, family instability, and other difficulties. America’s political tradition of blaming social problems on powerless minorities prevents the confrontation of spiraling middle-aged addiction, crime, AIDS, and imprisonment crises.

68 Affects of using drugs.

69 Another one of the Horrible Consequences of Drug Addiction

70 Preliminary Findings: Teens Perspectives on Incarceration
82.9% said someone close to them had been arrested 62. 9% think that not everyone in jail deserves to be there

71 Incarceration: Samples of several open-responses: 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.”

72 Incarceration: Samples of several open-responses: What is the difference between life in jail and life on the streets? Themes: No way out v. a way out / same for both “There's a way out if you’re on the streets. There's no way out if you’re in jail. You can make a difference, further yourself, and make yourself a better person while on the streets. Life in jail: you're stuck there and you might be able to change yourself if you have the will power to.” “I think in jail the authority is placed much tighter on you than in the streets. It’s dangerous in both places, but I think it’s safe to say that jail places you in immediate danger.” “Many feel as if living in the streets is like living in prison. I feel that the key difference is that you are not in control of your life in jail. In fact, prison robs men and women of their future, at least during the time they are incarcerated.” “I believe that the only real difference is that outside the government cannot profit off of people, where in jail the government gets money for every person in there.”

73 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.”

74 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”

75 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 (

76 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

77 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

78 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).

79 Changes in youth vs. Parent population
Youth (ages 10-19)

80 Sources

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

82 In Education… Curricular choice matters
Seeing themselves and their cultures reflected in curriculum is important Feeling valuable is important Having text books to take home is important Having access to clean facilities is important! YET…

83 Preliminary Findings: A sampling of Boston Public School Students
38.8% Don’t choose their own class schedules 34% said their classes are preparing them for a successful future 28% Said the sanitary aspects of the schools are poor 50% Said they have reliable teachers who go the extra mile for them 36.7% Said their ideas and beliefs are valuable to their teachers 62% Said they didn’t have a set of textbooks at home and school 60% Said there are working computers and printers in each of their classrooms 78% Said there’s a lack of culture and language represented in library books.

84 A Media Report on Education “Clueless In America”

85 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.”

86 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. * Fact: An American kid drops out of school every 26 seconds That’s more than a million every year Problem? - A College education is crucial to maintaining a middle class quality of life

87 EVIDENCE PLEASE! A recent survey of teenagers by the education advocacy group Common Core found that a quarter could not identify Adolf Hitler, a third did not know that the Bill of Rights guaranteed freedom of speech and religion, and fewer than half knew that the Civil War took place between 1850 and 1900.

88 Who’s To Blame? ~ Roughly a third of all American high school students drop out. Another third graduate but are not prepared for the next stage of life — either productive work or some form of post-secondary education. ~ When two-thirds of all teenagers old enough to graduate from high school are incapable of mastering college-level work, the nation is doing something awfully wrong. ~ Bill Gates makes the point that high schools, even when they’re working as designed, cannot teach all our students what they need to know today.

89 Quality Of Life Affects
There is a wide disparity in the literacy and math skills of both the school-age and adult populations. These skills, which play such a tremendous role in the lives of individuals and families, vary widely across racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups. • The “seismic changes” in the U.S. economy that have resulted from globalization, technological advances, shifts in the relationship of labor and capital, and other developments. • Sweeping demographic changes. By 2030, the U.S. population is expected to reach 360 million. That population will be older and substantially more diverse, with immigration having a big impact on both the population as a whole and the work force.

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

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

92 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?

93 Closing Remarks Stephanie Martinez
Christine Casanova (reading of poem) Stephanie or Christine will read the next slide before we direct people to the exhibit

94 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.

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

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