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Here’s our pick of news, writing, and research this week that investigates political questions at the intersections of gender, race, and region.
1. Hurricane Harvey: Zip Code & Race Determine Who Will Bear Burden Of Climate Change
Amy Goodman interviews Robert Bullard for Democracy Now: “Air Alliance Houston is warning the shutdown of the petrochemical plants will send more than 1 million pounds of harmful pollution into the air. Residents of Houston’s industrial communities have reported unbearable chemical-like smells coming from the many plants nearby. Stranded communities are ‘literally getting gassed by these chemicals,’ according to Bryan Parras, an activist at the environmental justice group t.e.j.a.s. Those closest to these sites in Houston are disproportionately low-income and minority communities.”
2. Here’s What Happens When Stores Carry Books By Women, People Of Color — And No One Else
Anya Alvarez for GOOD: “‘People who love books, people who love bookstores and believe in the power of literature, they know it’s a great thing and they support it,’ says Spring. ‘But the special joy that lights up the faces of people of color when they realize this store is for them and by people like them, carrying books that celebrate all of us, is what matters beyond anything else.'”
3. Trump order could give immigration agents a foothold in US schools
Mark Keierleber for The Guardian: “As many as 20,000 police officers are stationed inside American schools to help maintain safety. Called school resource officers, they are employed by local police or sheriff’s agencies and historically have few ties to immigration authorities. But Trump’s immigration order, signed in January, revived a decades-old program which trains local law enforcement officials in immigration enforcement and deputizes them with federal authority. Since some of these newly empowered police departments also deploy officers to schools, attorneys and civil rights activists say school resource officers can easily become a conduit for personal information about students and their families, such as undocumented status, that is supposed to be protected under federal student privacy laws.”
4. Why Do We Criminalize Black Schoolgirls?
Stephanie Hallet for Dame Magazine: “While initiatives to protect boys of color and ensure they receive a quality education are critical, girls surely deserve the same opportunities. As Morris explains, when girls aren’t in school, they’re more vulnerable — to underground economies, to exploitation, to abuse. And too often, that vulnerability leads to contact with the juvenile justice system, setting them up for a lifetime of criminalization.”
5. I Will Tell If You Don’t: HBCUs, Gender, and Sexual Violence
Tayler J. Mathews for Black Youth Project: “The difficulties that survivors encounter are additionally compounded by the notion that gender and sexual violence do not occur on our campuses. Even when this violence is acknowledged, silence is encouraged. Silencing is not only used to protect institutional reputations—it is also deeply rooted within the larger community itself. In a letter to survivors, Black Women’s Blueprint states emphatically that the Black community ‘refuses to admit that sexual assault is rampant, that it happens to us, in our churches, in our homes and on our [HBCU] campuses.’”
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