DEI Racial Equity Principle of the Week: Principle #5

Racial Equity Principle 5

For the next several weeks we will be sharing 1 of 10 Racial Equity Principles created through the work of several grassroots organizations, most notably the Dismantling Racism Works collaborative, and curated by Tema Okun. Each Racial Equity Principle includes a definition and description of how applying that principle may look in our daily lives. We encourage you to reflect on the description of each principle, how much you can relate to or see value in it, and to what extent you may want to apply any of the approaches suggested in your daily lives, inside and outside of the Kent School. 

Racial Equity Principle #5: Honor and build power in and with the margins

"This principle comes to us from the trans community and the writing/thinking of Dean Spade. Spade, a trans activist, writer, and teacher, explains how strong equity goals are best designed when they build the power and agency of those who have been pushed by the mainstream to the outer margins. This principle recognizes that when we frame goals and strategies in ways that benefit those living on the margins, or better yet, when we frame them led by or with those living on the margins, we are framing goals and strategies that benefit all of us, directly and indirectly. One example is curb cuts, which came to us because of those who fought for the Americans with Disabilities Act. Curb cuts are a wheelchair accessible design and they benefit all of us - people pushing baby carriages, people on skateboards or bicycles, people who have trouble stepping up or down a curb. Another example is health benefits; when we fought (or fight) for health coverage for domestic partners (which is and should be a right), that goal and the strategy to reach it still leaves those who are single, trans, queer, unemployed, or living in other than traditional relationships as well as a large range of poor people vulnerable. Crafting and fighting for health care that covers all of us achieves more equity and builds a larger caring community."

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