Mothers of the Movement on Gun Violence, Young Mothers at Rutgers, and WoC Care Workers

November 11, 2017

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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. Rutgers senior leads advocacy and support group for students with children
Marwa Eltagouri for The Washington Post: “According to research presented last fall at the Undergraduate Research Symposium by Anjanette Vaidya, the president and founder of Rutgers Students with Children, the Rutgers community and university institutionally discriminate against young single mothers pursuing college degrees. The School of Arts and Sciences senior won the top award at the symposium and later presented her findings at an academic conference at the University of North Carolina. In an email, she briefly summarized her findings with statistics showing that 96 percent of young single mothers pursuing a college degree fail out of school. ‘When Rutgers says, ‘We support women,’ when Douglass says, ‘We have been supporting women for 100 years,’ you have to ask, ‘Which women?’ Vaidya said. ‘An intersectional approach to supporting women in higher education means supporting mothers in higher education.’”

2. Delivering Hope: The Story of Two Black Midwives in Southern California
Jenn Stanley interviews Patrisse Cullors, Racha Lawler, and Debbie Allen for Rewire: “The first Black midwives in what is now the United States where enslaved Africans. Most southern plantations had an enslaved midwife, and slave owners would even enforce these midwives to work on other plantations for additional profits. The traditions and practices of these midwives date back way before colonization, but because of racism and sexism the history of midwifery in the United States has been extremely whitewashed…The history of midwives in the United States is that for the longest time it was done by people of color, Black women, and indigenous people. It was a job amongst Black people and people of color are revered an honorable job. The community would take care of you, they would come get you, horse and buggy, take you to the home, if it was a situation where you’re on a plantation and there’s slaves, it was go get her, she came in the house, she was allowed full access to the house in order to ensure that birth went well, but it was because white people didn’t want to do it, it was a gross job, it was a dirty job, it was a peasants, ‘job’.”

3. Mothers Fueled by Personal Loss Turn Focus to Political Change
Sherri Williams for NBC: “The activism of the Mothers of the Movement and others is crucial because it seems as if police reform is going in the opposite direction under the Trump administration, said Sonia Pruitt, vice chair of the National Black Police Association. ‘At the rate that the Department of Justice and more specifically Jeff Sessions is rolling back Obama-era mandates and orders and protocols we don’t have any hope there will be any reform,’ said Pruitt who has been a law enforcement officer for 25 years. Pruitt said the nation needs an all-hands-on-deck approach to police reform and racial justice, including adding more black officers to the ranks.”

4. Racial and Gender Inequality is Harming Long-Term Care—But We Can Fix This
Robert Espinoza for Huffington Post: “According to a new study from PHI, a national research and consulting organization focused on direct care, the direct care workforce struggles with significant racial and gender disparities. Though women of color make up nearly one in two direct care workers, they experience higher poverty rates and rely more on public assistance than white women and men of all races in their field. Alarmingly, economic instability drives many of these workers out of this sector, which in turn leaves older people and people with disabilities—the core client populations for direct care workers—without essential supports.”

5. #MeToo: Addressing Sexual Assault and Abuse in Social Justice Movements
Tina Vasquez for Rewire: “While the two queer, undocumented immigrants who spoke to Rewire for this story used #MeToo to discuss sexual assault, abuse, and silencing, their participation in the hashtag raised larger questions for them about the ways the criminal justice system and social justice movements—two things often working in opposition to each other—somehow both manage to fail the most vulnerable people…’Social justice communities protect their predator activists the exact same way Hollywood protects its predator producers or writers [or actors]: They are admired, they are brilliant, they are useful, they ‘bring more good than bad to the table.’ We just think we are different because we think we’re ‘the good ones,’ but everyone thinks they’re the good ones,’ she said.”