Expanding Opportunity for All: Responding to the Situatedness of Marginalized Populations Presentation Transcript
Expanding Opportunity for All: Responding to the Situatedness of Marginalized Populations john a. powell Director, Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity Williams Chair in Civil Rights & Civil Liberties, Moritz College of Law Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation Symposium on Race April 14, 2009
Race as a dimension of diversity
Race is a social space
How people are situated
Introduction to structural racialization
Understanding the connections between race, place, and poverty
The intersection of race and class
Analyzing policies and perspectives
Building on your great work and momentum
Acknowledging implicit biases
Strategies for addressing the needs of marginalized communities
Race as a Dimension of Diversity Race is a social space
Race is a social space.
We have fluidity in terms of our racial identity (or, in reality, racial identities.)
Situations affect who you are and how you identify.
For example, it may not be until you’re in a room with full of people of a different race that you become truly aware of your own race.
The British did not become “white” until Africans became “black.”
In order to notice race, society has to create this category/idea of race. After it is created, individuals can negotiate it using the social tools created by society.
Racial inclusion, racial diversity, and racial fairness are not the same thing.
We can talk about diversity in terms of individuals or groups.
Adding individuals can increase diversity, but their true impact on the larger group depends on whether they are trying to fit into a “pre-made” space or whether they are allowed to alter the group space.
Analogy: “immigrant country” – space into which one assimilates vs. “settler country” – being able to “re-make” society
Racial groups are not monolithic.
Divisions: class, gender, age, etc.
Why do organizations value diversity?
Many would not be able to explain this.
Questions to ask:
Do we view diversity in terms of ‘settlers’ or ‘immigrants’?
Are we still adhering to old norms?
Are we open to re-making our group/organization?
A Post-Racial Society? (or Not?)
The value placed on racial diversity may reflect a larger societal perception of the relevance of race.
A popular discourse following President Obama’s victory was that his win heralded a post-racial society.
This conclusion is deeply mistaken.
A Post-Racial Society? No.
Obama’s victory does not change the facts:
Black and Latino children are much more likely than white children to attend high-poverty schools
A white man with a criminal record is three times more likely than a black man with a record to receive consideration for a job
M inority home-seekers, many with good credit scores, are steered disproportionately to high-cost, sub-prime mortgages, thus devastating their communities in light of the foreclosure crisis
By prematurely proclaiming a post-racial status, we ignore the distance we have yet to travel to make this country truly a land of equal opportunity for all, regardless of racial identity.
Understanding How People are Situated
Understanding the connections between race, place, and poverty
An independent-isolated-individual psychological issue
An outcome that results from interactivity of institutions & actors
Past, if present an anomaly
Overt and covert
Structural racialization addresses inter-institutional arrangements and interactions.
It refers to the ways in which the joint operation of institutions produce racialized outcomes.
Structural racialization analysis allows for a view of the cumulative effects of institutional arrangements.
How we arrange structures matters
The order of the structures
The timing of the interaction between them
The relationships that exist between them
The Web of Opportunity
Opportunities in our society are geographically distributed and often clustered throughout metropolitan areas.
This creates “winner” and “loser” communities, or “high” and “low” opportunity communities.
Fair access to these opportunity structures is limited by various spatial arrangements and policies.
Opportunity is Racialized
Structures and policies are not neutral. They unevenly distribute benefits and burdens.
Institutions can operate jointly to produce racialized outcomes.
This institutional uneven distribution & racial marking has negative consequences for all of us.
Lower Educational Outcomes Increased Flight of Affluent Families Racial and Economic Neighborhood Segregation School Segregation & Concentrated Poverty
Place and Life Outcomes
Housing, in particular its location, is the primary mechanism for accessing opportunity in our society
For those living in high poverty neighborhoods, these factors can significantly inhibit life outcomes
Individual characteristics still matter but so does environment
Environment can impact individual decision making
Fiscal Policies Housing Childcare Employment Education Health Transportation Effective Participation
Opportunity Matters: Neighborhoods & Access to Opportunity
Your environment has a profound impact on your access to opportunity and likelihood of success
High poverty areas with poor employment, underperforming schools, distressed housing and public health/safety risks depress life outcomes
A system of disadvantage
Urban, rural, suburban
People of color are far more likely to live in opportunity deprived neighborhoods and communities
What are the costs of opportunity isolation?
Living in “concentrated disadvantage” reduces student IQ by 4 points, roughly the equivalent to missing one year of school (Sampson 2007)
Neighborhoods of concentrated poverty suppress property values by nearly 400 billion nationwide (Galster et al 2007)
Poverty and Race in the U.S.
Poverty and race -- 2006
White (non-Hispanic): 17.9 million in poverty, 9.3% poverty rate
Black: 9.0 million in poverty, 25.3% poverty rate
Asian: 1.4 million in poverty, 10.7% poverty rate
Latino (all Latinos): 9.3 million in poverty, 21.5% poverty rate
Poverty Data Jargowsky, Paul A. "Stunning Progress, Hidden Problems: The Dramatic Decline of Concentrated Poverty in the 1990s." Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy. The Brookings Institution. May 2003.
Source: Brown University & Lewis Mumford Center
The Spatialization of Poverty
Structural racialization involves a series of exclusions, often anchored in (and perpetuating) spatial segregation.
Historically marginalized people of color and the very poor have been spatially isolated from economic, political, educational and technological power via reservations, Jim Crow, Appalachian mountains, ghettos, barrios, and the culture of incarceration.
Poverty Map: Boston Metro Area African Americans in poverty and high poverty census tracts
Racialization of Poverty
African Americans are disproportionately concentrated in low-opportunity neighborhoods
The racial composition of neighborhoods determines the racial balance in schools, hence segregation
School segregation has been steadily increasing in the ’90s 1
Half of all African American students attend a central city district
Only 1 in 6 white students does
Source 1: David Rusk. Trends in School Segregation in Divided we Fail: Coming Together through Public School Choice. The Report of the Century Foundation Task Force on the Common School. 2002.
Is it getting better?
Many feel that this racialization of concentrated poverty has improved in recent years.
In 1960, African-American families in poverty were 3.8 times more likely to be concentrated in high-poverty neighborhoods than poor whites.
In 2000, they were 7.3 times more likely.
Fact Sheet from the Opportunity Agenda, Housing Neighborhoods and Opportunity. http://www.opportunityagenda.org/site/c.mwL5KkN0LvH/b.1433711/k.B7BA/Housing_Fact_Sheet.htm
The Cumulative Impacts of Spatial, Racial and Opportunity Segregation Neighborhood Segregation School Segregation Racial stigma, other psychological impacts Job segregation Impacts on community power and individual assets Impacts on Educational Achievement Exposure to crime; arrest Transportation limitations and other inequitable public services Adapted from figure by Barbara Reskin at: http://faculty.washington.edu/reskin/ Segregation impacts a number of life-opportunities Impacts on Health
Barriers to Fair Housing: The Web of Housing Challenges Housing Challenges Subsidized Housing Policies Discriminatory And Unfair Lending A Housing Market That Does Not Serve the Population Racial Steering And Discrimination Exclusionary Zoning
Application of SR Model: Thompson v. HUD
In 1995, six families living in Baltimore public housing filed suit on behalf of 14,000 other low-income families.
In 2005, a federal court ruled that HUD had violated Title VIII of the Fair Housing Act by failing to affirmatively further fair housing.
HUD had effectively restricted low-income minority families to segregated neighborhoods in the central city.
During the 1990s, 89% of public housing units developed with HUD’s support in the Baltimore Region were in Baltimore City.
The majority – more than 67%– of the City’s Section 8 voucher holders live in census tracts that are 70% - 100% Black.
SR and the Law
Prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin
“ Even where an employer is not motivated by discriminatory intent, Title VII prohibits an the employer from using a facially neutral employment practice that has an unjustified adverse impact on members of a protected class.”
Integration Into Opportunity
Rethink fair housing…
Segregation is more than just physical isolation; it’s also isolation from opportunity structures
Not just integration but integration into opportunity
Inclusive fair housing means access to good schools, jobs, doctors, child care, transportation, parks, and the civic fabric
Communities of Opportunity Model
Everyone should have fair access to critical opportunity structures:
A Community of Opportunity analysis can develop pathways to increase social and economic health, benefiting everyone
Opening Pathways to Opportunity
What happens when we affirmatively connect people to opportunity?
After implementing economically diverse magnets schools in Wake County, NC, African American student test scores doubled
Children in public housing who moved to the suburbs as part of Chicago’s Gautreaux program were twice as likely to attend college (in comparison to their urban peers) (Rosenbaum)
Despite the flaws in the implementation of MTO, many participants experienced substantial psychological benefits
Moving to opportunity for boys resulted in a 25% decline in depressive/anxiety or dependency problems (2005)
The Role of Housing Policy
How does housing policy segregate people from opportunity?
Failure to affirm: Race often maps onto opportunity. Subsidized housing programs often put families into racially isolated, low-opportunity areas
Failure to enforce the Fair Housing Act
How might it integrate people into opportunity instead?
Targeted Section 8 vouchers
Connect LIHTC to NCLB
Incentivize the siting of affordable housing in high-opportunity areas
FHA enforcement: changing times call for changing methods (failure to avert the subprime debacle)
Adapted from analysis of the 2000 HUD Picture of Subsidized Housing
Greater Boston Area Opportunity Map with Subsidized Housing Overlay
The Intersection of Race and Class
Another part of understanding how people are situated involves reflecting on the intersection of race and class.
Class is often used as a proxy for race.
Less controversial; less divisive
Among the problems with using class as a proxy:
Using a class lens is too narrow.
Class is used to evade the race issue rather than address it.
The Intersection of Race and Class
Race left a lasting imprint on how we perceive class.
For example, the white face on the suburban middle class allowed for stereotyping of the “Black welfare queen”
Racial associations and assumptions are made with certain occupations – an example of class and race interacting.
Both race and class are composites.
Race and class give meaning socially and institutionally.
Intersectionality v. Intrasectionality
In int er sectionality, the components (race, gender, etc.) are seemingly external and static.
With int ra sectionality, the components are being remade and changed by their interactions.
Essentially, the interactions are interacting.
Barad, Karen. Meeting the Universe Halfway (2007)
The self is an intersubjective viewpoint.
Our own understandings of ourselves interact with the views that others hold about us.
“ We are all androgynous, not only because we are all born of a woman impregnated by the seed of a man but because each of us, helplessly and forever, contains the other -- male in female, female in male, white in black and black in white. We are a part of each other. Many of my countrymen appear to find this fact exceedingly inconvenient and even unfair, and so, very often, do I. But none of us can do anything about it.”
Analyzing Policies and Perspectives Targeted Universalism Systems Theory
Uneven Effects of the Current Recession
The current recession has affected everyone – but not all to the same degree.
Although the U.S. has been in a recession for more than a year, people of color have been in a recession for nearly five years and have entered a depression during the current economic crisis.
Although the black poverty rate fell 8.5% from 1989 to 2000, the African American family poverty rate increased 2.8% from 2000 to 2007.
Poverty rates for Hispanic families grew .5% from 2000 to 2007. The Hispanic family poverty rate (19.7%) is roughly twice that of the overall poverty rate (9.8%).
This ratio was at a record high of 63.5% in 2000. Once the 2001 recession and weak economic recovery hit, these gains were lost and have yet to be recovered. Austin, Algernon. “What a Recession Means for Black America.” EPI Issue Brief # 241. 18 Jan. 2008.
Learning From Our Mistakes?
If we fail to pay attention to populations and the resources that communities possess, we are likely to repeat the mistakes of the New Deal.
White Americans may benefit disproportionately
How do we avoid the New Deal mistakes?
We must be intentional.
Policies should be targeted and programs should be structured so that they reach certain populations and communities.
We Need A New Paradigm
Targeted policies alone are not desirable because they appear to show favoritism toward a certain group, thus stigmatizing them.
Universal policies alone are not useful.
They fail to account for the fact that people are situated differently in the economic and social landscape of society
“ Universal” policies are often based on a non-universal standard
Ex: Social Security: able-bodied white males working outside the home full-time for pay
Thus… Targeted Universalism
Group A Group B If the universal program affects those in red, Group B would seemingly benefit more than Group A. Universal Program
Group A Group B The universal program affected everyone in red, but Group B is still constrained by the boxes. Universal Program
This approach supports the needs of the particular while reminding us that we are all part of the same social fabric.
Universal, yet captures how people are differently situated
Inclusive, yet targets those who are most marginalized
Example goal: Every school as a performing school
What does each school need to get there?
What does each student, family, teacher, community need?
What are their strengths and constraints?
Targeted Universalism recognizes racial disparities and the importance of eradicating them, while acknowledging their presence within a larger inequitable, institutional framework
Targeted universalism is a common framework through which to pursue justice
A model which recognizes our linked fate
A model where we all grow together
A model where we embrace collective solutions
Ex: Economic Stimulus Package
The economic stimulus package fails to directly account for race.
Yet, race is a key component of many major economic issues.
Ex: Subprime/Foreclosure crisis:
People of color are more than three times as likely as whites to have subprime mortgages.
Borrowers of color were more than 30 percent more likely to receive a higher-rate loan than white borrowers, even after accounting for differences in risk.
Besides considering race-sensitive design,
we must be concerned about the impacts.
Rogers, Christy. “Subprime Loans, Foreclosure, and the Credit Crisis – A Primer.” Dec. 2008.
Seeing the Connections
Attempts to address singular issues in isolated ways will ultimately fail
Targeted interventions must recognize the interconnected nature of our structures
While many policy areas can appear distinct, we must think of them collectively.
Is this an urban policy issue?
An environmental issue?
A jobs/economic issue?
Visualizing Systems Theory
System Interactions Source: Barbara Reskin. http://faculty.uwashington.edu/reskin/ We must pay attention to how people are situated by looking at multiple indicators and the relationships that exist between those indicators.
Structural Racialization & Systems Thinking
Courts have used a systems perspective.
Gaston County v. United States – North Carolina sought to reinstate a literacy test as a qualification for voting. The Court found a violation of the Voting Rights Act because segregated schools "deprived its black residents of equal educational opportunities, which in turn deprived them of an equal chance to pass a literacy test."
An apparently impartial literacy test was found to be a violation of the Voting Rights Act when one examined the institutional relationship between segregated education and voting restrictions.
Serving MLAC’s Clients
Building on your great work and momentum
Acknowledging the role of implicit bias
Working collaboratively on strategies for addressing the needs of marginalized communities
The recently completed opportunity mapping project in Massachusetts highlights the unique challenges facing MLAC’s clients. These maps provide the context for analyzing fair housing policies and a variety of other social issues.
People, Places, and Linkages
Why It Is Difficult to Talk About Race?
U.S. history of violence, repression, and injustice toward people of color
Feelings of resentment, guilt, and hostility
Fear of stigmatizing groups and creating self-fulfilling prophecies
Lack of information about consequences of racial inequality
Failure to actively envision a “true Democracy”
Fear of being labeled a racist
Lack of practice!
Implicit bias (unconscious)
Talking About Race - (Don’t)
Techniques to avoid :
Present disparities only
Frame action as robbing Peter to pay Paul
Separate out people in need from “everybody else”
Glide over real fears, shared suffering, or the fact that people are often internally divided
Dismiss the importance of individual efforts
Talking About Race - (Do)
Frame the discussion using the norms & values of the audience – anchor to their narratives
“ All God’s Children” video: Click Here
In the story you tell, make sure everyone can see themselves in the story (“us,” not just “those people”)
Emphasize shared, deep values
“ Team USA” video: Click Here
Acknowledge that individualism is important – but that the healthiest individual is nurtured by a community invested in everyone’s success
Propose policies that are universal and targeted
Racial categorization occurs automatically, regardless of any efforts to divert attention from race.
Within moments of perceiving someone, we automatically judge that person in terms of in-group favoritism
Is that person is an “us” or a “them”?
We unconsciously think about race even when we do not explicitly discuss it.
Elephant in the room video: Click here
Drew Westen’s The Political Brain
Implicit Association Test
Implicit thoughts can overpower our explicit positions
Implicit Association Test http://thesituationist.wordpress.com/2007/08/19/
We unconsciously think about race even when we do not explicitly discuss it.
Implicit thoughts can overpower our explicit positions.
People have multiple networks that may be activated without our awareness.
Depending on the situation, one network becomes dominant over the others.
Even though we may fight them, implicit biases reside within us.
A Transformative Dialogue Around Our Linked Fate
Too often, we envision race as a system that separates groups from each other with durable boundaries around each group.
This view supports the notion that disparities impacting one group have no impact on other groups.
Talking about race creates an opportunity to expose and illuminate the “ linked fate ” that is shared by all Americans - how inequality for some groups impacts the entire society.
Inequality in educational opportunity Low-performing inner-city schools Reduced competitiveness in the global economy Negative economic consequences for ALL AMERICANS
A Transformative Dialogue: Bring Everyone to the Table
Too often, issues that touch on race and social justice are perceived as “Black issues” or “White issues.”
In the U.S., issues about racial equality, opportunity, and social justice are fundamentally issues about Democracy .
Everyone has a stake in guaranteeing that Democratic principles are fully implemented in the society.
So, everyone is a stakeholder in the transformative dialogue on race.
We need to craft an appropriate set of relationships and conditions and avoid romanticizing “the other.”
Slave/master relationship: never fully human relationship because there would always be a power imbalance between the two
The Bigger Thomas story (Richard Wright)
Encouraging Full Democratic Membership
How do we engage others with dignity?
What is freedom?
What characterizes an active member of a democratic society?
How do you measure social inclusion?
What blocks membership?
Who makes meaning?
What are the ‘everyday’ politics?
“ You know, even if 40 percent of the people in a community are poor, it means 60 percent are not. So we have to ask ourselves, what are those 60 percent doing and thinking? And in the case of these chronically-poor places, my experience and others' is that they're distancing themselves from the poor rather than looking for ways to bring them into the Boy Scouts or into the after-school program or into the same church as the more middle-class folks…”*
*Quote from “Why Poverty Persists in Appalachia,” PBS interview with Cynthia Duncan (author of Worlds Apart: Why Poverty Persists in Rural America) http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/countryboys/readings/duncan.html
Exclusion From Decision Making
Bringing people into structures that formerly excluded them may not be enough
Message is: individual is not properly “negotiating” the ladder when the ladder is too narrow or long …and we’re climbing alone
What’s the relationship between the margin and the center? How do we change this relationship?
We can’t change the role of women without changing the role of men. They co-constitute each other.
In Legal Services, there’s a power dynamic in which the powerless may be expected to make changes. We need to talk about changing the center, not just changing the margin.
What can Legal Services do?
Engage in diversity training
Not just typical trainings, but deep discussions in which personal viewpoints are openly addressed and critical feedback is provided by colleagues
Fully understand how race really works
Truly comprehend why diversity matters rather than running the risk of only paying it lip-service
Work to create community change
Beyond zealously advocating for your client, think about how each case can produce community change
Let this influence how you articulate the case, how you utilize the media, etc.
Intervention Strategies for Building Opportunity Communities
Adopt an opportunity-based approach to housing advocacy
Support both in-place and mobility-based strategies to affirmatively provide access to opportunity
Adopt a multi-disciplinary, collaborative approach to advocacy
Address not only personal and institutional racism, but also structural racism and racialization
Reflect on the unique challenges and opportunities each community presents
Section 5 Work Toward Transformative Change
Linked Fates…Transformative Change
Our fates are linked, yet our fates have been socially constructed as disconnected, especially through the categories of race, class, gender, nationality, region…
Questions or Comments? For More Information, Visit Us On-Line: www.KirwanInstitute.org
Appendix White Privilege
Privilege comes in many different forms – race, class, status, etc.
It is possible to have some kinds of privilege and not others
i.e., Someone may lack race privilege but still possess educational and class privilege
How we use that privilege is important
Privilege and Institutional Arrangements
Privilege is sorted through institutional arrangements
Institutional arrangements are never neutral
There is a tendency to favor one group over another
Holidays in the United States are arranged in a way that is sensitive to Christian beliefs, but not necessarily inclusive of other religions
Daycare is structured in a gendered way that creates advantages and disadvantages to certain groups
Which parent usually has to take off of work to care for a sick child?
White Privilege and the Organization of Structures
Without critical examination, the system can appear to be just and fair, perhaps even neutral towards race.
Often unbeknownst to them, whites inherit and possess many benefits that are often unacknowledged and/or taken for granted.
Interestingly, the norm of whiteness is strong enough that the privilege of whiteness may not even be perceived by people of color.
Recognizing White Privilege
“ In my class and place, I did not see myself as a racist because I was taught to recognize racism only in individual acts of meanness by members of my group, never in invisible systems conferring unsought racial dominance on my group from birth.”
~Peggy McIntosh – “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”
Defining White Privilege
White privilege refers to special advantages, rights, or unearned benefits that whites enjoy simply due to the color of their skin that other groups do not receive
A white person does not need to be a racist to benefit from white privilege
The recipient of white privilege may not even be aware that s/he received it
These privileges are passively acquired
Is one person’s privilege predicated on others’ lack of privilege?
A Few Manifestations of White Privilege
Spatial and residential segregation
The appearance, demeanor, and choices of a non-white being considered “representative of his/her race”
Minority students are less likely to be placed in advanced or accelerated classes
“ Flesh color” Band-Aids are typically light beige in color, thus reflecting a norm of white skin tones
White Privilege and the Organization of Structures
"The reality is [in] every aspect of life -- economic, social, political -- white people benefit from the way the system is organized and black people experience deficiency.”
~ Paula Rothenberg, author of White Privilege: Essential Readings on the Other Side of Racism
Privilege and Institutions
The dynamics of privilege are not static; they change by situation and across time
We need a literacy of institutions and cultural meanings
We also need to understand how these meanings are transmitted
Institutions may not be neutral, but they can be inclusive