To wrap-up Week 2 and our discussion around issues of racism and inequity within our educational systems, let’s challenge ourselves to consider some of the barriers that minorities face in attaining a college degree.

Standardized tests designed to keep students of color & women out, the adversities poor brown and black students experience while on campus and the economic turmoil graduates of color face in repaying their loans are all a part of a flawed higher education system.


Twelve years after starting college, white men have paid off 44% of their student loans, while black women owe 13% more. Read this article to better understand how the student debt crisis has hit black students especially hard.
Carl Brigham, the creator of the original Scholastic Aptitude Test, or SAT, believed that American education was declining and would "proceed with an accelerating rate as the racial mixture becomes more and more extensive." Watch this video about how standardized tests were designed to perpetuate the racial divide.
Read this piece by Harvard Graduate School of Education Professor Anthony Abraham Jack on why colleges must understand that students who come from poverty need more than financial aid to succeed.
While popular misconception characterizes Asians as the most educated minority group in the U.S., Southeast Asian American students experience serious educational inequalities that are often masked due to their categorization as “Asian".
Hidden History: The Norfolk 17

The members of the Norfolk 17 were the true heroes of the school integration struggle in Norfolk, Virginia. On February 2, 1959 they entered six of the previously all-white public schools in the city, persevering in the face of intense racial animosity.

One of the students, Dr. Patricia Turner, is keeping their legacy alive. Now 74, Turner spends her time telling students throughout Hampton Roads the story of their sacrifice and hard work. 
Prior to her eighth grade year in 1958, she went through a tedious selection process which required standardized tests, a psychiatric evaluation and school board interviews for three days.

Listen to Dr. Turner speak about her experience HERE .


LEVEL 1 : Read this brief intro on school segregation and bring together a small group of colleagues, family or friends to participate in one of 6 interactive activities. 

LEVEL 2 : Create a list of your top 5 favorites books, that you read in high school. Keep these in the back of your mind as you move through tomorrow's content. After reading the content, take a look at the authors of the books on your list and answer the following questions:
  • Is there any racial/ethnic diversity?
  • How did the list affect your viewpoint as a young pupil?
  • Create a list of 5 books you would add to the high school list that you feel all students should read.

LEVEL 3 : Write a letter to your local school board or attend your next school board meeting to bring up a big issue of concern. 

DID YOU KNOW? Only 9 percent of Foundation grants are allocated to communities of color.

Make a gift to the YWCA South Hampton Roads today and support our mission to eliminate racism and empower women in our community.