"There is no hierarchy of oppressions."

– Audre Lorde

Welcome to day 9

Topic: Intersections: Race + Gender

Take a moment to see the intersection of racism and sexism, and by using the resources below, reflect on a time you may have been seen as or seen others as a single label.

Reminder, no matter who you are or where you are on the journey, you will not be perfect. Try to digest the information slowly and go at your own pace. Allow time for reflection and avoid feeling pressured to tackle everything.

United Way of Greater Atlanta brings together people and resources to tackle complex issues and drive sustainable positive change to help our community thrive.

It may not be easy, but we are committed to taking a holistic approach. That means we must see one another’s wholeness. What does it mean to be Black, and a woman and low income? How does gender, class and sexuality impact the experiences of children, families, men and women across our community? Are there intersections of disadvantage? Are there barriers within the way health or educational services are delivered? If we want lasting change, we must understand not only the experiences today, but also the roots of the problem.

Audre Lorde’s quote is a guide for how we examine oppression and how we follow the data to move our community forward. Our shared commitment to seeing people in their fullness and not only as a single label will help us when talking about the intersection of child well-being and racism as part of promoting social change.

There is no single solution to ensure an equitable recovery, but if we can see the world through a new lens, we can embody the habits and traits of innovators. If we want a more equitable future, we must look for a fresh perspective, an alternative way of seeing things and an angle that lets us see familiar problems from a new perspective.

Let’s start by looking at the data:


Important Facts

  • Compared with other women in the United States, Black women have always had the highest levels of labor market participation regardless of age, marital status or presence of children at home. (Economic Policy Institute)
  • In 1880, 35.4 percent of married Black women and 73.3 percent of single Black women were in the labor force compared with only 7.3 percent of married white women and 23.8 percent of single white women. (Harvard University)
  • Black women’s higher participation rates extended over their lifetimes, even after marriage, while white women typically left the labor force after marriage. (Economic Policy Institute)
  • Research from Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s nonprofit Lean In shows that Black women are among the hardest hit by the coronavirus unemployment crisis.
  • This economic inequality is due to a number of factors, including that Black women are industry, and are paid less than white men and women. (AAUW)
  • “Until the 1970s, employers’ exclusion of Black women from better-paying, higher-status jobs with mobility meant that they had little choice but to perform private domestic service work for white families,” writes Nina Banks, associate professor of economics at Bucknell University. (Business Insider)

Challenge Menu

#APeoplesJourney: African American Women and the Struggle for Equality

A short video on Black women and the concept of intersectionality, from the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) (3 minutes)

How To Close The Inequality Wealth Gap According To 5 Black Women In Finance

Understanding the problem is important, and so is learning about solutions. This article offers insights for companies, policy leaders and advocates.

What Healthy Black Women Can Teach Us about Health

In this report, IndexUS takes an unconventional approach to understanding Black women’s health.  If you want to skip the powerful stories, the data on weight, exercise or aging well, then our recommendation is that you can go straight to page 60 and find out the amazing stats about “Why Black Women’s Health Matters to You.” Hint, hint: there’s a net financial benefit.

Quantifying America’s Gender Wage Gap by Race/Ethnicity

Women of color in the United States experience the nation’s persistent and pervasive gender wage gap most severely. This quick data brief from the National Partnership for Women & Families offers stats on the wage gap and insights about what would be possible if we could close those gaps. For instance: If the annual wage gap were eliminated, a typical Latina working in the United States would have enough money to pay for approximately three additional years of tuition and fees for a four-year public university, or 38 months of childcare.

The Women United Advancement Initiative

Designed to provide women with educational and professional training, financial assistance and coaching, health education and supports and access to safe and quality learning environments for children, the Women United Advancement Initiative works in conjunction with United Way’s Child Well-Being Impact Fund and the long-standing work United Way and its partners have been doing to improve Greater Atlanta’s 13 counties.

White Women: Our Role in Racial (In)Justice

Kathleen Osta, Managing Director of the National Equity Project, wrote this with the intent to reach “…my white sisters, with love and hope for a world that doesn’t yet exist, with more justice and more peace.”