Equity Challenge: Week 12
As we continue our journey to develop a deeper understanding of how inequity and racism affect our lives and communities, we want to pause to acknowledge the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright in Minneapolis last week, and the anxiety, anger, hurt, and sadness his death has brought to a community already in mourning. Our hearts go out to his family, friends and community.
 In week 12 of the Challenge, we dive more deeply into institutional racism, exploring racism in media.
This week is an opportunity to examine how media – an institution we interact with almost daily – can perpetuate racist ideas. This week is an opportunity to learn about the experience of journalists of color, examine how entertainment and advertising reinforce our biases, and explore ways to discern how racism and bias may be influencing the media content we consume. 
Week 12: Racism in Media
Here are some reflection questions for you to think about:

  • How is race talked about in your newspaper, TV news, radio shows or online articles? What headlines, terms or photos stand out? Are people in marginalized groups portrayed differently?

  • Who is and is not represented in ads you see? What is the racial mix of the main characters in your favorite TV shows? Movies? Who do you notice on magazine covers? What roles are people of color filling in these images?

  • What new ideas for noticing racism and bias in media did you learn? How will this impact how you consume news, advertising and entertainment moving forward? 
Media encompasses many forms of mass communication, such as advertising and entertainment, as well as journalism and news media. These industries play a significant role in the stories and content we consume nearly every day.

The way stories are told has a significant impact on our understanding and perception. The language used to describe marginalized people can shape how society views them. The stories that get told and the way they are told has a strong influence on how the public discusses issues and how policymakers address them (source). It also influences how people are treated by individuals, organizations and our broader systems. 

Week 12 Challenge
With the questions and definitions above in mind, do at least one of the following:

Being the Only Black Journalist in the Room is a Privilege and a Prison (3-minute read)
This article provides a glimpse into a perspective on being one of very few minority workers in a workplace through Queen Muse’s experience as the only Black female writer in a newsroom.
Report: US News Media Part of the Problem in Misunderstanding Native Americans (4-minute read)
This article describes a national report showing most Americans know little about Native Americans, and what they do know is based on flawed narratives, due largely to mainstream media.

The Look (1:45)
P&G developed an advertisement designed to challenge our biases and spark conversation. In addition to a short film, this link includes resources to dive deeper into the issues and imagery you see, as well as a conversation guide to discuss the video.
Trial & Tribulation: How Has Media Perpetuated Racism When Covering the Black Community? (10:24)
This episode of Trial & Tribulation: Racism and Justice in Minnesota looks at the role that media has played in perpetuating harmful stereotypes that have very real impacts on how police interact with Black men.
How to Deconstruct Racism, One Headline at a Time (16:41)
In this profound, thought-provoking and often hilarious talk, Baratunde Thurston reveals the power of language to change stories of trauma into stories of healing, while challenging us all to level up. (Subtítulos en español disponibles.)

Racist History of American News Media? (9:04)
The new book News for All the People traces how mainstream publishers and broadcasters perpetuated racism through their coverage, but also how journalists of color fought to develop a more democratic, alternative press. Guest host Tony Cox speaks with the authors about their work and where the internet stands in diversifying news.
Racial Bias in Crime Reporting (9:18)
Research shows the media disproportionately depict African Americans as criminals, and whites as victims. In this interview with Nazgol Ghandnoosh, research analyst at The Sentencing Project, discusses her study, "Race and Punishment: Racial Perceptions of Crime and Support for Punitive Policies," which details how media distortions feed our own implicit biases.

Share your reflections or additional resources about today’s topic on social media using #EquityChallenge - or send us a note at unitedway@unitedwayracine.org
Learn more about the Challenge and review weekly topics by visiting
Local Resources
A weekly book discussion group reading books on race and racism.

A yearlong, faith-based series of interactive and multidimensional public events. The series goal is to increase our understanding of how we think and feel about racism, resulting in actions that can help to transform us as individuals and the systems of racism in our country. 

The YWCA of SEW Wisconsin offers a variety of trainings about different facets of equity, such as structural racism, cultural differences, social transformation and more.

Higher Expectations engages community partners, aligns efforts, and maximizes resources to promote excellence and equity in education and employment outcomes in Racine County.
Hear from Deanna Singh, Founder/Chief Change Agent of Flying Elephant and her husband Justin on how to talk to your children about race to help children develop a healthy understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion.


Join the YWCA of Southeast Wisconsin to learn about women in Racine and Kenosha have worked for better health outcomes for women of color and their families. Thursday, April 22 12:00 p.m.

Braver Angels Skills for Bridging the Divide Workshops teach skills for having respectful conversations that clarify differences, search for common ground, and affirm the importance of the relationship. 
Monday, April 19 7:00 - 9 p.m.

Make your commitment to inclusion—the active, intentional and ongoing engagement with diversity—official by signing our Declaration of Inclusion Pledge. This pledge is to respect and appreciate all aspects of any person, including race, religion, skin color, nationality, sexual orientation, gender, physical abilities, age, parental status, work and behavioral styles, and the perspectives of each individual as shaped by their nation, culture and experiences. You will also receive our quarterly diversity newsletter to build your "equity muscle."