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Three teen girls smiling and looking at camera. Racial Equity & Social Justice challenge logo in bottom-left corner.
Today's topic: Racial Disparities in Incarceration
Today we will discuss the impact of racial disparities in incarceration on minority communities in the United States. Building on last week's discussion on education and the school to prison pipeline, mass incarceration of targeted demographics, especially Black men, has an effect not only on the incarcerated individuals but on entire racial and religious groups, their communities and future generations.
Watch this video on mass incarceration to understand how for certain demographics of young black men, the current inevitability of prison has become a sort-of normal life event. Netflix's film "13th" offers a deeper view of the same topic.
Ten years ago, civil rights litigator and legal scholar Michelle Alexander published her book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness . Listen as she explains the relatively recent and explosive growth of mass incarceration in the U.S., how she came to understand it as a modern caste system, a new form of Jim Crow, and what she thinks will be required to change it.  
Muslims make up about 9% of state prisoners, though they are only about 1% of the U.S. population, a new report finds. Listen to this report which sheds light on the obstacles some incarcerated Muslims face in prison while practicing their faith.
While racism has a real and significant impact on our lives, many struggle to understand that impact and how they might drive change. Join us as we gather to set the groundwork for community conversation, activism, and reform in this unique community forum. YWCA St. Paul CEO Gaye Adams Massey will moderate a panel of community leaders, comprised of: Judge Pamela Alexander, James Burroughs, Justin Terrell and Yohuru Williams. Visit our website for more event details and full speaker bios.

Event will be streamed live on YWCA St. Paul's YouTube channel .
Level I: Think about whether calling the police is the best response in any situation before automatically making the call. Compile and keep a list of local hotlines and services that may be better equipped to respond to situations involving mental health, substance abuse, homelessness or other social problems. Add these resources to your phone contact list and use them when appropriate.
Level II: Research how the communities that you are a part of interact with police systems: your City, your State, your children's school, your workplace. Do these communities have disparities in arrest rates or incarceration? Do these communities have policies that prevent over-policing or excessive use of force? Are health policies that meet the needs of female inmates in place? Write a letter to the leaders of your communities and share your concerns.
Level III: Find a local reentry program that helps formerly incarcerated individuals successfully transition to their community upon release and get involved by volunteering or donating in support of their work.
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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.