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Welcome to the Equality & Equity Project

As part of our commitment to Anti-Racism, Diversity & Inclusion, this page will provide historical and present-day information about the contributions, challenges, culture, and daily lives of the many vital groups that make up our NSCC community, and the larger world. We will regularly highlight important facts, stories, and experiences that traditionally have been omitted from the narrative of our country, and offer steps you can take to combat inequality. This page originated in response to the urgency of Black Lives Matter, and will predominantly feature African Americans in the 2020-2021 academic year. However, this is an ongoing project that intends to honor every group in the rich fabric of NSCC life.

We invite you to visit often, reflect on what you see and read, discuss it with others and, hopefully, expand your knowledge base, appreciation, and understanding of groups beyond your own. Together we can achieve:

  • Equality (‘quality or state of being equal’), the ideal for our NSCC community, and to a larger extent, our global community.
  • Equity (‘freedom from bias or favoritism, the quality of being fair and impartial’),  the path to equality.

Example of equality vs equitycourtesy of  Artist: Angus Maguire/Interaction Institute for Social Change and Center for Story-based Strategy  

A consciously aware and understanding environment builds a stronger Comm-Unity

Stories

Stories, articles or videos to build equality by demonstrating equity.

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Two Wolves

A Cherokee Legend

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”   He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

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Before you call the cops on a Black person . . .

Individual racism refers to the beliefs, attitudes, and actions of individuals that support or perpetuate racism. Individual racism can be deliberate, or the individual may act to perpetuate or support racism without knowing that is what he or she is doing.

Examples:

  • Telling a racist joke, using a racial epithet, or believing in the inherent superiority of whites over other groups;
  • Avoiding people of color whom you do not know personally, but not whites whom you do not know personally (e.g., white people crossing the street to avoid a group of Latino/a young people; locking their doors when they see African American families sitting on their doorsteps in a city neighborhood; or not hiring a person of color because “something doesn’t feel right”);
  • Accepting things as they are (a form of collusion);
  • Voting without exploring a candidate's record on policies relating to equality and equity.
Tyler Merrit photo

Implicit Bias video key frame

A fictional story by Barbara Leahy (1998) where a young boy, Theo, asks his mother, “What if there were no black people?” Theo's mother walks him through the day where all the inventions and contributions that African Americans have made in US history are gone.

Read the story >

 

 

Think About This

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Microaggressions are the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership. 

For instance: Complimenting a person born and raised in the United States on their English simply because they are not white.

Using outdated and offensive terminology, such as, “That’s so gay.”
Underrepresenting different races, sexualities, and disabilities in the media.

Telling a thin person that they should eat more food.

Asking someone, "Where are you REALLY from? 

Individual racism refers to the beliefs, attitudes, and actions of individuals that support or perpetuate racism. Individual racism can be deliberate, or the individual may act to perpetuate or support racism without knowing that is what he or she is doing.

Examples:

  • Telling a racist joke, using a racial epithet, or believing in the inherent superiority of whites over other groups;
  • Avoiding people of color whom you do not know personally, but not whites whom you do not know personally (e.g., white people crossing the street to avoid a group of Latino/a young people; locking their doors when they see African American families sitting on their doorsteps in a city neighborhood; or not hiring a person of color because “something doesn’t feel right”);
  • Accepting things as they are (a form of collusion);
  • Voting without exploring a candidate's record on policies relating to equality and equity.

An ALLY is someone who makes the commitment and effort to recognize their privilege (based on gender, class, race, sexual identity, etc.) and work in solidarity with oppressed groups in the struggle for justice. Allies understand that it is in their own interest to end all forms of oppression, even those from which they may benefit in concrete ways. IF SPACE ALLOWS [Allies commit to reducing their own complicity or collusion in oppression of those groups and invest in strengthening their own knowledge and awareness of oppression.]

See more glossary terms >

Photo of Cesar ChavezPhoto of Dolores HuertaMexican-American labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez raised farm laborers' struggles for humane working conditions to the national consciousness. In 1962, along with Dolores Huerta (an activist to this day), he co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, which later merged to become the United Farm Workers labor union.

 

Fannie Lou Hamer photoFannie Lou Hamer was an African American civil rights activist.  In 1964, Hamer helped found the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, established in opposition to her state's all-white delegation to that year's Democratic Convention and announced her bid for Congress. Although she lost the Democratic primary, she brought the civil rights struggle in Mississippi to the attention of the entire nation during a televised session at the convention.

See more historical figures >

 

Do you know what indigenous land you’re living on?  Check out this map and research the groups that occupied that land before you did. 

Native Land map

See more historical facts >

This is an example of white privilege:  When I am told about our national heritage or about "civilization," I am shown that people of my color made it what it is.

Charlotta Bass photoHowever, this country’s history is filled with Black women who have been steadfast in their efforts to advocate for democratic rights for ALL Americans.  In 1948, Charlotta Bass, a California newspaper publisher and editor, left her 30-year allegiance to the Republican party out of exasperation over their very limited support for racial and gender inclusivity. She joined the newly created Progressive Party and, in 1952, Charlotta became the first Black woman to be nominated to the role of Vice President on any party’s national ticket.  

 

Photo of Shirey ChisholmIn 1968, New York Democrat Shirley Chisholm became the first Black woman to win a seat in Congress.  In 1972, Congresswoman Chisholm became the first African American and the first woman to seek a major party’s nomination to run for President. She was openly anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-war, pro-choice, and pro-labor, and she sought solutions to the chaotic issues that were plaguing the nation during that time.  Although both women were committed to their parties, party establishments did not consider either politician to be a real agent of change or the appropriate 'face' for their party. 

See more examples of privilege >

Voter fraud isn’t statistically a problem in this country. Write to your state representative and senator to ban voter ID laws, ease the voter registration process, implement early voting, and implement voting-by-mail, to ensure access for all registered voters. 

See more ways to combat inequality >

If you have any questions or comments on NSCC's Equality & Equity Project, please contact
us at EqualityEquity@northshore.edu

Sources

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