United Way of Racine County has launched the 21-Week Equity Challenge for Racine County residents. This challenge, adapted by United Way of Wisconsin from the work of Dr. Eddie Moore, is an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of how inequity and racism affect our lives and community. Participants receive an email at the beginning of each week, Feb. 1 through June 21, which takes them on a journey through understanding internalized racism and the permutations of racism throughout systems. During the course of the challenge, participants receive information and resources to help them learn, reflect and act. Each email includes links to articles, podcasts, and videos as well as information about local free or low-cost events, trainings, and opportunities related to equity. Sign-ups will be open throughout the entire challenge, with all previous emails available at UnitedWayRacine.org/Equity for review.
United Way of Racine County fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in our community. That work calls us to confront the challenges and disparities in our community and state. In each pillar of our work – Health, Education and Financial Stability, which we recognize as the building blocks for a good quality of life and strong community – residents of Racine County and all of Wisconsin face disparities along racial and ethnic lines.
A 2019 report by COWS, (cows.org/_data/documents/2030.pdf) a nonprofit think tank based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, finds that Wisconsin’s white residents have “relatively good” economic, health, and educational outcomes, while Black residents fare worse than Black people nationally. Black babies in Wisconsin are three times more likely to die before reaching their first birthday than white babies. One in three Black children in Wisconsin lives in poverty, 3.5 times more than white children. Black students are 7.5 times more likely than white students to face out-of-school suspension, the second-worst disparity in the country.
While the pandemic reinforces the fact that every person’s health is intertwined with the health of others in their community, the data demonstrates that Black, Brown, Indigenous, and other communities of color are suffering a disproportionate impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 Wisconsin ALICE Report found that nearly 66% of Black households and 48% of Hispanic households fell below the ALICE threshold, compared to 32% of white households. In Racine, which 24/7 Wall Street has identified as the second-worst U.S. area for Black people, Black households earn on average less than half of white households: $27,658 for Black households, $64,321 for white households.
This year, our country again confronted the painful, long-standing reality of racial inequity and the deadly results of racism and injustice. We saw that confrontation come to a head in our communities and on our streets – and in this difficult moment, we join other nonprofits and United Ways in acknowledging and confronting racism in our communities.
We’re grateful for those who have led the way in doing the work and committing to active anti-racism. The 21-Week Equity Challenge is another step toward personal and community growth, and we hope you join us. We know that when we Live United, we must Live United for everyone.
To sign up or keep learning, visit UnitedWayRacine.org/Equity.