Demystifying Racial Equity

A Harvard University study found that black women are up to four times more likely to die during pregnancy than white women. Numerous studies show that a child’s race is an accurate predictor of their life’s outcomes, from the quality of their schooling and ability to attain a college degree to the amount of money they will earn over their lifetimes. Even life expectancy can be predicted based on race. These distressing statistics are examples of racial inequity. The flip side to this current, unjust system is racial equity.

Racial equity is the fair treatment of all people, resulting in no one’s life outcomes being determined by their race. Under racial equity, everyone receives the same opportunities, benefits, and tools to thrive. Racial equity is not just eliminating discrimination or unjust practices, but also implementing policies and systems which ensure fairness for all.

In order to achieve racial equity, hundreds of years of policies and practices discriminating against people by race — both intentionally and not — need to be changed and improved upon. Though lasting progress comes slowly, you can advance the cause of racial equity in many ways. Silence about the issue of racial inequity contributes to it; simply talking about race in America brings attention and awareness to the issue. Supporting local businesses keeps money in communities and creates opportunities for new business owners in the future. Voting and becoming active in local politics to support policies that target inequity can create major change in your community. Working together, we can achieve a more just, equitable system that benefits everyone.

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