Explicitly naming it: Looking through a racial equity lens (and a 21 day challenge to help you get in the habit)

In a late night class prep session for my Policy I course, I came across this article on “Applying a Racial Equity Lens to Housing Policy Analysis”. If you are interested in affordable housing, racial equity, connections of both to our public school systems and developing targeted solutions to problems, you should read this: https://housingmatters.urban.org/articles/applying-racial-equity-lens-housing-policy-analysis

If you are not a policy wonk (yet), however, I propose there is a part of this article that is worth thinking about, and that is the importance of explicitly naming something. These authors discuss the importance of naming the inequity that has resulted from structural racism embedded in policies. Being explicit and honest about the way that racism has been embedded in policy (whether housing policy, education policy, welfare policy, etc) is a first step toward identifying thoughtful, anti-racist solutions. And it is a necessary step, because we can’t address something we aren’t honest about naming in the first place.

This is true in policies, in our family life, in our congregate life of faith. It is true in our individual relationships at work and in other community spaces. I have to be honest, unflinchingly so, about the ways racism has permeated my actions and about the ways I have benefited from racist structures even if I didn’t take an active role in it.

Along these lines, I came across this 21 day challenge: https://www.eddiemoorejr.com/21daychallenge/ For 21 days you are challenged to do one action (Read, Listen, Watch, Notice, Connect, etc). I started it recently and there are so many wonderful resources and suggestions for actions there, just waiting for you. This seems like it would be a great challenge for students, friend groups, work groups, faith community groups and others to do together.

Challenge yourself!

Photo by Shane Aldendorff on Pexels.com

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