DAY 13 Of YWCA Spokane’s 14-Day Racial Equity & Social Justice Challenge
We hope this challenge provides you with an opportunity to better understand concepts related to race, power, privilege, and leadership.
Thank you for taking this challenge! If this is your first day of joining us for the 14-day equity challenge, welcome. If you are returning after previous engagement with the challenge, nice work! We are glad you are here. From Monday, June 15th through Sunday, June 28th, YWCA Spokane will send, those who sign up for our challenge, daily emails prompting you to take time to learn about racial equity and social justice.
We encourage you to take note of any insights in a daily log or diary. Consider setting aside time to talk with friends about what you have learned and how the topics introduced impact our community. Invite your network to join you on this challenge and share on social media with #ywcaequitychallenge. Thank you for participating!
DAY 13: The US Census and Voter Disparities
Civic engagement of the populace is the foundation of democracy. The right for our concerns to be represented and addressed in our governing body is an American value. This means that civic engagement, including voting and census participation, are, and have always been, core components of racial justice.
You may be aware of some of the ways in which historic voter suppression has systematically kept people of color from the ballot box. However, many of us do not recognize how voter suppression manifests today. Additionally, most are unaware of the importance of the Census as a tool in our democracy and how this unsung program impacts the lives of every person in America without most of us even realizing it.
In theory, the goals of the census and our elections are to have all experiences represented, and all voices captured. In reality, there are multiple populations at risk of being underrepresented due to civic engagement barriers. Historically and currently, these barriers disproportionately affect communities of color, meaning people of color are routinely undercounted and underrepresented. These gaps in data collection are associated with drastically impactful outcomes for the communities who are underrepresented, for social service organizations, and for society as a whole.
As shared by YWCA USA through the Stand Against Racism National Tele-Town Hall, “Voting rights, census participation, and civic engagement are, and have always been, essential to racial justice. As the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts all aspects of life, it is also exacerbating the impact of systemic and structural racism on communities of color across health, education, justice, and economic sectors.”
Today we challenge you to take the time to explore the resources below and dive deeper into these issues, learn what communities are doing to fight for their rights, and how you can be of support, so we can all join together in building a fully functioning democracy and a more equitable, just society.
If you have…
|Watch this TED Talk
to get an overview of the importance of the census and the impact of civic engagement on our communities and our country as a whole.
|and||Read this article
that explores some of the most rampant methods of voter suppression across the country.
|and||Listen to this podcast
about civic engagement and the unique concerns surrounding COVID19’s impact on civic engagement and an equitable democracy.
BONUS: Read this blog post from YWCA Spokane explaining why the 2020 Census is so important. It includes resources to support your engagement.
Once you have completed today’s challenge, take a moment to reflect on any insights you experienced. How did the challenge make you feel? What is something you learned? Did you notice anything about yourself after taking the challenge? Consider sharing this new awareness with a friend or group to help deepen your understanding of the information. Consider tracking your reflections on the below daily log or start an online group with friends to encourage daily sharing with each other about the challenge topics.
Share each challenge online with #YWCAEquityChallenge
Do you have resources you think we should share? Any insights you would like to share with us? We welcome you to leave your comments here. Thank you!