👵🏽 Purpose and Effect – Diversity and Inclusion

Policies that are purpose made to apply equally can in effect create huge inequalities. Learn new @UN strategies for eliminating racial discrimination

#diversity #equity #inclusion #antiracism

There’s a new type of systemic racism, one much more subtle than in the past. Policies are purpose made to apply equally but in effective through practice create huge inequalities. Today we’ll learn about cultural differences and how certain policies and teaching practices disproportionately affect certain groups.

We’ll also learn practices from the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UN CERD) provides measure to combat discrimination. [5]

Examples of racism in practice [5]

Police target minorities as possible criminal suspects solely on the basis of their race or ethnicity.
A 1998 study of police stop and search patterns in England and Wales by the British Government’s Home Office found that Blacks were 7.5 times more likely to be stopped and searched than whites.1
In a two year period in the U.S. state of Maryland, blacks constituted 79.2 percent of the drivers stopped and searched by the police on Interstate 95, even though they constituted only 17.5 percent of the drivers who were violating traffic laws.2
The war on drugs in the U.S. is waged overwhelmingly against black Americans. For example, although there are more white drug offenders than black in the United States, blacks constitute 62.7 percent of all drug offenders sent to state prison and black men are sent to prison on drug charges at 13.4 times the rate of white men.3
Aboriginal people in Australia are 9.2 times more likely to be arrested, 23.7 times more likely to be imprisoned as an adult, and 48 times more likely to be imprisoned as juveniles than non-Aborigines.4

Use of force by the police may vary by race of suspect. In Brazil, darker skinned people shot by the police are almost twice as likely to be killed than whites shot by the police: the lethality index (ratio of people killed to people wounded in intentional shootings) for black and brown skinned people shot in the favelas was 8.66, compared to a white lethality index of 4.63.7
Police ignore, condone, or encourage violence by private individuals directed against racial minorities:
In June, 2000, police turned their backs and left a Dalit untouchable village in India’s Bihar state as an upper caste mob entered it and slaughtered thirty-four lower-caste men, women and children.8
In February, 2000 skinhead thugs shouting racist insults attacked five Roma in Nachod, in the Czech Republic; victims said police were among the attackers and did nothing to stop the assault or arrest the perpetrators.9
Enforcement of control of movement and residence often assumes ethnic or racial dimensions:
The Russian propiska system of permits provides a pretext for the police harassment, arbitrary arrest, and extortion of people distinguished by their racial characteristics: in September 1999 Moscow police were given carte blanche in the wake of two bombing incidents there to carry out mass arrests of ethnic Chechens living in the city, taking more than twenty thousand Chechens to police stations.

How to fight racism in policy [5]
UN CERD recommends that new laws must not discriminate either in purpose of in effect. Meaning that even if a law is made with the purpose of applying to everyone it’s effect could disproportionately affect minorities or marginalized communities.
Collect anonymous data on racist or xenophobic incidents
Require authorities to publicly publish these anonymized incidents
Review the anonymized data and undertake necessary corrective actions to address the discrimination found
Have a civilian review board monitor the conduct of policy enforcement
Provide prompt and effective remedies for victims of discrimination
Introduce training to combat racial discrimination in practice
Abolish the death penalty.

Education Week stated “Many educators support, to one degree or another, culturally relevant teaching and other strategies to make schools feel safe and supportive for Black students and other underserved populations.“ [6]

As one teacher-educator put it: “The way we usually see any of this in a classroom is: ‘Have I thought about how my Black kids feel? And made a space for them, so that they can be successful?’ That is the level I think it stays at, for most teachers.”

Disrupting implicit racial bias – US Dept of Ed
Universal screening for giftedness to eliminate bias, increase access to AP/IB courses where they do not currently exist.
Zero-tolerance policies should be banned
Schools should discourage suspensions and expulsions for more subjective infractions such as willful defiance
Invest in PD for the use of restorative justice to create a safe space for the accused and to make amends amicably
Adopt Trauma-informed approaches to discipline (e.g. “what’s wrong?” Vs “what’s wrong with you?”)
Improve practices for recruiting and retaining more educators of color and culturally competent professional development.
Incentivize and support educators in developing and using culturally relevant curricula.
Expose students to diverse role models and create a safe space for them to celebrate their differences.

This Sunday I stood outside of Saint peters Roman Catholic Church and watched as the number of people came in late after the mass it started to attend mass. Most of them were met by a locked door and turned around in frustration “ah forget it.”

One older lady Melinda who is the first language was not English had a very hard time trying to use the online system in order to make a booking. She was crying at the front steps of Saint peters Roman Catholic Church because she said that she had tried the online mass and was having a hard time following and feeling like she was in the presence of God. People are not coming to mass with the intention of breaking your rules but this heavy handedness with the rules is what is causing many to feel excluded.

This is exactly why when I was outside setting up for after the mass hi gave up my seat to Raymond for arrived a little bit later. we say the same rules apply to everyone but the people who are arriving late from what I’ve seen are: cultural minorities, people who are not familiar with the online system, people from out of town who don’t yet know the rules. These are all people who are desperate to attend mass in person because they know the impact that it’s going to have on their spiritual and mental well-being.

The same types of things tend to happen in schools when we implement no tolerance policies they tend to disproportionately impact people of color including black girls. There’s no tolerance policies have been seen as the reason that there is this school to prison pipeline. Because the rules do not get applied in the same way to people of different cultures in practice what is affectively means is that the rules are used as something to oppress another group of people and this is where we get at the core root of systemic racism.

Push out – Monique Morris

Maya Angelou was raped when she was eight years old and was a unwed teen mother. She found a teacher who did not practice zero tolerance Who totally changed her life trajectory.

March 2012 President Obama showed extraordinary empathy when he said that if he had a son that son would’ve looked like Trayvon Martin.

When black girl energy is uncontainable, we can jump up and dance with them. When the world is painful, we can scream with our girls, not at them. If the world weighs heavy on them, we can teach them to write, and we can sit and write with them. We can have a longer conversations and longer tempers. We can let them lead and question and thrive. As educators there will be times we must push hard push girls to fulfill their unique promise, the brilliance and their capacity for greatness.

The majority of girls in prison are of color black/Latina, a large portion some estimate 40% identify as LGBTQ. 48% of black girls who are expelled nationwide do not have access to educational services. Black girls are 16% of the female student population, but represent 1/3 of all girls referred to law-enforcement and 1/3 of all Arrests at schools. Zero tolerance policies and Exclusionary discipline like prison or calming rooms is the most common method used. 

During the slave era in the United States learning to read and write was a crime for black slaves punishable by beatings. It was the 1954 brown versus Board of Education Supreme Court ruling that ended segregation in schools.

Among the black community there are two polarizing categories of girls: good girls and ghetto girls. Ghetto girls are those who do not conform to the white middle-class definition of femininity.

25% of black women live in poverty. The unemployment rate for black women age 20 and over at the end of 2014 was 8.2%, compared to 4.4% for white women and 5% for all women. In 2012, black women earned 89% of white black men earned, and only 64% of what white men earn. Black women are also disproportionately employed in language occupations jobs that pay them less than $21,412 per year. Black women are about three times more likely to be imprisoned and white women, one and 19 black women will be incarcerated at some point in her lifetime.

40% of black children live in poverty, compared with 23% of all children nationwide. For black girls under the age of 18, the poverty rate is 35%. Black girls drop out of school at a rate of 7% compared to 3.8% of white girls. At 18.9% black girls have the highest rate of person offenses. Homicide is the second leading cause of death for black girls and women ages 15 to 24. domestic violence is highest among black women and girls age 12 and older at 7.8%, compared to white 6.2%, Latina 4.1%, and other 3.8%.

The prioritization of high-stakes testing that’s disproportionately affected black girls who struggle to perform well on such tests which are crucial for advancement in school or graduation.

In California 2014 blacks had the lowest high school graduation rate at 59%. Unemployment for blacks was 14.6%, white 8.3%, Latino 9.9%.

To improve these conditions in schools we should use a race conscious gender analysis, we should redefine respect and how are disciplinary policies uniquely impact black girls. Look at the student teacher relationships. Dress code policies are often subjectively enforced and assumptions are made about the sexuality of black girls. Have a candid talk with black girls about sexism and patriarchy in our society. Focus on transformation rather than punishment. They describe teachers as so scared of asking a student to leave the classroom. They also want somebody to check in with them more often. They wish they had a class on how to get a job


  1. Alberta Student Population Statistics https://www.alberta.ca/student-population-statistics.aspx
  2. 30% of students in CSSD are ELL https://webdocs.cssd.ab.ca/AboutUs/ReportsandPublications/Documents/CCSD_Annual_Report_2020.pdf
  3. Definition of ELL https://www.edglossary.org/english-language-learner/
  4. McKinsey Spring 2021 study https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/public-and-social-sector/our-insights/covid-19-and-education-the-lingering-effects-of-unfinished-learning
  5. Racism and the Administration of Justice https://www.hrw.org/legacy/campaigns/race/criminal_justice.htm
  6. What is Critical Race Theory https://www.edweek.org/leadership/what-is-critical-race-theory-and-why-is-it-under-attack/2021/05
  7. Disrupting Implicit Racial Bias https://sites.ed.gov/whieeaa/files/2016/10/Disrupting-Implicit-Bias-FINAL.pdf
  8. Culturally Sensitive Counselor Questions https://counseling.online.wfu.edu/blog/10-diversity-questions-counselors-ask/