‘Silence Breakers’ of color, a Clean Dream Act, and Therapy for Queer and Trans POC

December 9, 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. ‘Silence Breakers’ of Color Among Those Named Time ‘Person of the Year’
Sameer Rao for Color Lines: “Time Magazine recognizes the ‘Silence Breakers’—the people whose disclosures about experiencing sexual violence sparked ongoing action against alleged perpetrators the world over—as its 91st ‘Person of the Year.’ The publication profiles #MeToo creator Tarana Burke and dozens of survivors, including many women of color, who brought her message into the mainstream in a cover story that debuted online today.”

2. Nothing Protects Black Women From Dying in Pregnancy and Childbirth

Nina Martin and Renee Montagne for ProPublica and NPR: “In recent years, as high rates of maternal mortality in the U.S. have alarmed researchers, one statistic has been especially concerning. According to the CDC, black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women’s health. Put another way, a black woman is 22 percent more likely to die from heart disease than a white woman, 71 percent more likely to perish fromcervical cancer, but 300 percent more likely to die from pregnancy- or childbirth-related causes. In a national study of five medical complications that are common causes of maternal death and injury, black women were two to three times more likely to die than white women who had the same condition.”

3. Finding Therapy Isn’t Easy for Queer and Trans People of Color
Arielle Gray for Vice: “After all, deep and pervasive stigma exists when it comes to mental healthcare and people of color, based largely on barriers to access and racial disparities in the field. In 2013, over 83 percent of working psychologists were white, and though African Americans face more mental illness than white people, we tend to seek out mental health treatment at half the rate of whites. LGBTQ people also face mental illness at three times the rate of non-queer people.”

4. Why Young People Are Pushing for a Clean Dream Act
Isabella Gomez for TeenVogue: “When President Donald Trump rescinded DACA on September 5, the status of approximately 690,000 recipients were put at risk. ‘It is worrisome simply because everything you’ve worked for and everything you’re still working for could just be thrown away as if it’s nothing,’ 18-year-old Zaira Hernandez — who is currently enrolled in college in Connecticut, thanks to the program — tells Teen Vogue. ‘If DACA isn’t renewed or if new legislation isn’t implemented, that means a lot of us aren’t going to be able to work and aren’t going to be able to study.’”

5. A Wellness Entrepreneur For Women Of Color
Candace McDuffie for Forbes: “‘A little over three years ago, I was experiencing what many label as entrepreneur burnout and I started practicing yoga and meditation almost daily to balance out the stressors in my professional life,’ says Rice. ‘In every studio I walked in, there would be maybe one or two women of color, but most times none at all. I decided to dig deeper into my practice and become a certified instructor. In that 50 person, 10-week yoga training, I was the only black woman. After I started teaching, I noticed that more and more black women would seek out my classes. It was as if they felt more comfortable and supported being taught by a woman of color.'”