Community Action Association of Pennsylvania
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Building Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
DEI Insights – May 2021
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Community Action Agencies strengthen DEI plans
Pennsylvania's Community Action agencies are strengthening plans to address diversity, equity, and inclusion at their agencies and within their communities.
Of the 43 Community Action Agencies in Pennsylvania, 15 reported having strong DEI action plans, 6 reported having thriving plans that include community engagement and 9 said they are working to develop plans to strengthen equity, according to participants at a recent workshop entitled “Racial Justice: Principles to Practice.”
“The willingness of leadership to advance equity work on an agency and community level is the greatest strength to advancing this work,” one participant said. Developed through a partnership between CAAP and the Alliance for a Just Society, the workshop’s goal is to help leaders move from talking about the race and equity to developing plans that lead to a more just society. Leaders who participated in the workshop said they want to learn more...
Watch the author's recent presentation from the Community Action Partnership's Equity Summit
Systemic racism is not a moral dilemma. It is based on an elaborate system of federal, state and local laws put in place to advantage white people and disadvantage people of color. To end systemic racism and white supremacy, discriminatory laws still in existence must be overturned. In his book, The Color of Law, Richard Rothstein deconstructs systemic racism by identifying the laws related to housing, education and jobs that keep the system of white supremacy in place.
"The Civil Rights movement ended, and the biggest segregation of all remains, which is that every metropolitan area is this country is residentially segregated," Rothstein says. It's not an accident, he says. Visit CAAP's Equity Tools and Resources Page and watch Rothstein's YouTube video, titled, "Re-Imagining the Color of Law: Repurposing the Problem," which offers an informative view of the structures that led to systemic racism. (50 minutes)
May 31 marks the 100-year anniversary of the destruction of 'Black Wall Street'
There is a misconception that black people are lazy and do not want to work. The story of Tulsa, Oklahoma, illustrates just the opposite. Despite being relegated to a non-desirable location in the city, the black population created a vibrant neighborhood for living and working. The area was so successful that it was known as "Black Wall Street," and excelled past the constraints – including death and destruction - that white communities across the nation used to limit the economic well-being of people of color.
The Tulsa Race Massacre exploded with a fury, destroying a black community in total - people and buildings - with a despicable wrath that one hundred years later still makes us cringe. Tulsa is now at the center of 'Critical Race Theory,' an academic theory that advances the teaching of race in public schools. To learn more about what happened in Tulsa, watch this eye-opening YouTube video titled "The Massacre of Tulsa's 'Black Wall Street,'" which uncovers one of America's darkest secrets. (9 minutes)
Congratulations to Step, Inc.'s Social Justice Committee for creating a project to highlight famous Americans who support the ideals of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Called “On the Walls,” the poster series includes famous quotes from Martin Luther King Jr., Robert F Kennedy, Michelle Obama and many other prominent and historical figures. Agencies may download the quotes and post them online and for display at your agency locations...
CAAP Celebrates Diversity
The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America's history and are instrumental in its future success – see event videos and resources.