Why Racial Equity Matters

Are you interested in supporting social justice? There’s never been a better time to lend your talents and passion to the advancement of racial equity. Supporting racial equity can help create a more inclusive school, workplace, and community. As a result, you’ll reap the rewards of diverse perspectives and insights.

Continue reading to learn more about racial equity and why it matters.

What Is Racial Equity?

Racial equity aims to offer people what they need to be able to participate and engage fully, and that will look different based on each person. Racial equity acknowledges that systems have intentionally marginalized and disenfranchised groups of people, making it harder for them to achieve what their white counterparts can. We know that one’s race should not predetermine one’s ability to achieve success. But to achieve racial equity is to break down longstanding systems that have intentionally marginalized people of color and low-income populations. By doing so, we can help these populations gain upward mobility.

Keep in mind that racial equity differs from racial equality. Racial equality offers all individuals the same type of treatment and support. This is true regardless of whether they’re wealthy or financially troubled. Racial equity, by contrast, factors in one’s situation in determining how to help them. 

For example, an individual living on a low income in a struggling area may lack the resources to achieve career advancement. In this scenario, support services can help this individual overcome financial barriers. Consequently, they may be able to obtain a well-paying job. Achieving racial equity requires understanding that where most people start is intentional and a consequence of a larger system designed to hinder Black, Brown, and lower-income people from achieving the same success or quality of life as their white counterparts. It also requires us to understand that not everyone experiences the same roadblocks along the journey either. 

How You Can Support Positive Changes

To help support racial equity, you need to acknowledge the problem. In schools and workplaces, recognizing a problem and showing concern about its existence are the first steps. 

It’s tempting to reach for a quick fix, but a long-term solution requires enacting cultural and systemic changes within the organization. 

Making changes can mean identifying lapses in recruitment practices or lesson plans. It may be common practice to expect a college degree when hiring someone for your company, but is that degree actually necessary for the role? Or are we just including that criteria because it is common practice now to do so? Maintaining norms like this without being aware as to why you are holding onto them or reflecting on the consequences of such norms contributes to a lack of equity, which in turn doesn’t benefit anyone.  

Supporting and promoting racial equity can come in the form of community engagement. By volunteering with OhanaHC, for instance, you can mentor high school students and help shape a better future for them. In doing so, you’ll help improve outcomes and benefit the larger community. 

Make Racial Equity a Priority

Prioritizing racial equity can start with educating yourself about the problem. Show solidarity with those who’ve been oppressed. Work with leadership teams to create accountability. Commit financial donations to organizations that support training programs for underserved populations.

When racial equity becomes a priority, everyone can benefit. By meeting people where they are, you’ll demonstrate understanding and empathy. Ultimately, you’ll be part of a process of creating systemic changes that can help lead to racial equality. 

At OhanaHC, we aspire to achieve racial equity through the work we do to support youth from all backgrounds. You may fill out the contact form on our website or email us at info@ohanahc.org to discover ways you can get involved!

Leave a Comment

Ohana of Howard County, Inc. is following the CDC, Maryland, and Howard County recommendations to ensure the safety of students, volunteers, and staff. At this time, we will be moving to in-person programming and masks are optional. When appropriate, we will provide hybrid or virtual options for engagement.

© 2024 || OhanaHC || 501(c)3 || All Rights Reserved