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Three teen girls smiling and looking at camera. Racial Equity & Social Justice challenge logo in bottom-left corner.
WEEK 2: EDUCATION
Today's topic: College
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 seeking higher education:
  • The widely used college admission test, the SAT, was originally designed by a proponent of the intellectual inferiority of people of color, and is still under attack for bias against poor, black and Hispanic students;
  • the adversity poor brown and black students experience while on campus; and
  • the higher levels of student loan debt shouldered by students of color; and the challenges they face in repaying their loans.

These are all a part of a flawed higher education system.
WE CHALLENGE YOU TO TAKE...
Carl Brigham, the creator of the original SAT believed that American education was declining and "will proceed with an accelerating rate as the racial mixture becomes more and more extensive." Watch this video on how standardized tests were designed by racists and eugenicists.
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.”
Read this piece by Harvard Graduate School of Education professor, Anthony Abraham Jack, on why colleges must learn that students who come from poverty need more than financial aid to succeed.
12 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.
ACT | EDUCATION WEEK
Level I: 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 II: Before reading Tuesday's material, create a quick 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 the day'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 cannon affect your viewpoint as a young pupil? Now create a list of 5 books you would add to the high school canon that you feel all students should read.
Level III: Write a letter to your local school board or attend your next school board meeting to bring up a big issue of concern.
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YWCA St. Paul is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. YWCA St. Paul is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.