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Racial Equity Resources

What is School's Out Washington doing to address structural racism?

Fifty-five percent of youth who are participating in afterschool and youth development (AYD) programs in Washington State are youth of color. Given our statewide reach to these programs, SOWA has the ability to impact racial equity outcomes for youth.  

Read our Racial Equity Brief to learn more.

Our Statement of Solidarity

June 2020

School’s Out Washington stands in solidarity with all those standing up in protest against anti-Black violence and the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and too many others. At SOWA, we are called once more to fully engage in both self-work and organizational work to fight against racism and white supremacy. Both are critically important, and we are reminded of just how much work there is left to do.  Read our full statement here

Recommended Resources


  1. The Color of Cuts by Washington CAN

  2. A Framework for Understanding the Causes of Racial Inequalities in 21st Century America by the Aspen Institute

  3. Race, Crime and Punishment: Breaking the Connection in America

  4. Race, Education, & No Child Left Behind by Applied Research Center

  5. Ready Thoughts: Giving Voice to Young Men of Color by Karen Pittman

  6. Training the Trainer: Helpful Tips for Leading and Facilitating Conversations on Race

  7. Ten Things White People Can Do About Ferguson Besides Tweet

  8. Bringing Ferguson Home: How to Begin Addressing Structural Racism by Emily Emerson and Katrina Go


  1. Applied Research Center
  2. Aspen Institute
  3. Beyond Diversity
  4. The Forum for Youth Investment
  5. Colorlines
  6. Cultures Connecting
  7. Teaching Tolerance

Films and Videos

  1. A Class Divided
  2. Bring Your A Game
  3. A Tale of Two Schools: Race and Education on Long Island
  4. Race: The Power of an Illusion


  1. Grading the Top 100 Metros: Racial Equity for Latinos by Urban Institute
  2. Grading the Top 100 Metros: Racial Equity for African Americans by Urban Institute



A Framework for Understanding the Causes of Racial Inequalities in 21st Century America

DOWNLOAD: PowerPoint Presentation

AUTHOR: The Aspen Institute

DATE: March 2010


Ready Thoughts: Giving Voice to Young Men of Color

Karen Pittman introduces us to a new intiative from the College Board entitled “The Educational Experience of Young Men of Color.”

AUTHOR: Karen Pittman, The Forum for Youth Investment

DATE: July 20, 2011

FROM THE TEXT: “The project, The Educational Experience of Young Men of Color, uses two fresh research reports as cornerstones for a dynamic website, offering various ways to look at data in more complex and analytical ways than usual. We get bold, graphic depictions of sub-group differences in high school completion and college success that reveal the powerful impacts of class and culture within groups. (Salvadorian young males, for example, are four times more likely to drop out of high school than are Cuban males).”


Race, Crime and Punishment: Breaking the Connection in America


AUTHORS: The Aspen Institute Roundtable on Community Change with funding from the Open Society Foundations (OSF). Edited by Keith O. Lawrence and featuring essays by Michelle Alexander, Eric Cadora, Blake Emerson, Ian Haney Lopez, Marc Mauer, Alan Mobley, Alice O’Connor, Jonathon Simon and Phil Thomson.

DATE: June 30, 2011.

FROM THE TEXT: “Presenting the insights from their two-year collaboration with the OSF around “Rethinking Crime and Punishment in America for the 21st Century…

…More than 2.3 million people in America are in jail or prison. Sixty percent are African American and Latino.

Of all the statistics portraying racial inequity in our country, this is the most alarming: it indicates the failure of so many of our society’s institutions; it predicts dire consequences for millions of children and families of color who are already at socioeconomic disadvantage; and it challenges the very definition of our democracy…”

Nine scholars contributed essays to this volume, which examines the nature and significance of the persistent linkage of race, crime, and punishment in the public mind. It offers strategies for breaking that connection, and for reducing the severe racial disproportionalities in the criminal justice system.


Training the Trainer: Helpful Tips for Leading and Facilitating Conversations on Race

WEBSITE: Culturesconnecting.com

ABOUT: Cultures Connecting provides consulting and professional development to help organizations enter into conversations about race, culture, and social justice and learn new skills they can apply in the workplace and beyond.

DATE: 2011

FROM THE TEXT: Our recently published book was created for one of our most popular workshops. Designed for facilitators at all levels of experience, this book includes ways to set your workshop up for success before people even walk in the door, basic facilitation tips, specific ideas for engaging in courageous conversations, and strategies for counteracting expressions of White privilege.

FROM THE TEXT: Common Expressions of White Privilege by Ilsa Govan, M.A. and Caprice D. Hollins, Psy.D

Check out their Free Resources page which includes tools from Seattle Public Schools, activities for increasing cultural competence and more.


The Color of Cuts: The Disproportionate Impact of Budget Cuts on Communities of Color in Washington State


AUTHORS: Washington CAN

DATE: March 15, 2011

FROM THE TEXT: “The people of Washington State believe in the values of equity and shared prosperity.

Over the past two years, Washington State’s economic crisis has put these core values to the test.
The Governor and the Legislature faced a $12 billion shortfall in the 2009–11 biennial budget, which was closed through a combination of federal funds, reserves and fund transfers, new revenue, and program cuts. The projected budget shortfall for the 2011-2013 biennial budget is $4.6 billion, but due to recent anti-tax initiatives and past cuts, the options for closing the gap are far more limited. The supplemental budget, passed by the Legislature in February of 2011, has already led to cuts that impact all residents: cuts to education and healthcare; cuts to programs that serve kids, seniors, and people with disabilities; and cuts to environmental programs. Many of the programs that suffered cuts are programs communities of color and low-income communities rely on.

The impact of the 2011 supplemental budget cuts fell disproportionately on people of color. It is likely, based on recent budget proposals from the Governor, that the 2011-2013 biennial budget proposal will continue to devastate people of color and low-income people across the state.
This report demonstrates how the supplemental budget cuts have disproportionately affected people of color. Failure to assess the impact of anticipated 2011-2013 budget cuts on communities of color will profoundly exacerbate existing racial and economic disparities in our state.

The report recommends that the Governor and State Legislature reject cuts to services that disproportionately impact communities of color and raise new revenue to promote equity and prosperity for all Washington residents."


Education and Race


AUTHORS: Applied Research Center. Principal Researcher: Rebecca Gordon

DATE: 1998

FROM THE TEXT: “Chapters on such key issues as segregation, school funding, discipline and curriculum
• Suggested questions for covering such hot topics as school violence or vouchers
• Contact information for organizations and individual experts as well as print and internet resources”


Videos to Watch Online

A Class Divided


“One day in 1968, Jane Elliott, a teacher in a small, all-white Iowa town, divided her third-grade class into blue-eyed and brown-eyed groups and gave them a daring lesson in discrimination. This is the story of that lesson, its lasting impact on the children, and its enduring power thirty years later.”

Bring Your A Game


“To generate a national conversation on the plight of Black men and boys, the Twenty-First Century Foundation (21CF) has partnered with actor–director Mario Van Peebles and producer Karen Williams to create BRING YOUR "A" GAME — a documentary film that, in Van Peebles’ words, ‘sheds light on the resilience and influence of Black males.’” Unfortunately, the 21st Century Foundation has now closed.

A Tale of Two Schools: Race and Education on Long Island


“ERASE Racism’s documentary, A TALE OF TWO SCHOOLS: Race and Education on Long Island, follows David and Owen, two African American teenagers during their senior year of high school. Even though the students have a lot in common, they go to very different schools. A TALE OF TWO SCHOOLS spotlights these differences and the results of educational disparities. The film also focuses on the benefits that diversity provides for all students.

Full Length Film

Race: The Power of an Illusion

A powerful 3-part documentary from PBS about “race in society, science and history.”

For information, visit http://www.pbs.org/race/000_General/000_00-Home.htm
To order, visit http://www.newsreel.org/nav/title.asp?tc=CN0149