Confronting Racism/Inequity

Do not accept what is; confront it and move toward what should be. This page will present examples of what LWV-TC and other like-minded organizations are doing to move toward a truly diverse and inclusive community.  LWV-TC acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land that comprises Thurston County today, the Nisqually, Cowlitz, and Coast Salish, and pays respect to their elders past and present.

 

LWVUS Joins Lawsuit to Protect Transgender Women in Sports

12/21/2020

WASHINGTON – The League of Women Voters of the United States joined civil rights partners on an amicus brief in the case of Hecox v. Little, a lawsuit challenging Idaho’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act. The Idaho law currently prohibits transgender students from taking part in female sports, and the harms would be felt by trans students as well as by intersex persons, non-binary persons, and many cisgender women and girls. The district court concluded that the Act constitutes a violation of the equal protection clause and the amicus brief highlights that the Act also violates Title IX’s prohibition on sex discrimination in educational programs or activities. The League and partners joined this case to be in solidarity with all women and non-binary persons who deserve equal treatment under the law. 

“This is an egregious example of sex discrimination that has the potential to create unacceptable and possibly permanent harm and trauma for women and children who wish to participate in athletic programs,” said Dr. Deborah Turner, president of the League of Women Voters of the United States and a practicing gynecologist for more than 35 years. “Gender testing has long been used to attack Black and Brown female athletes, and this law follows that appalling practice, which will disproportionately target women and girls of color. The League is horrified and ashamed that in our country, this invasion of privacy known to have lasting negative mental and physical impacts on individuals could become the law.”

The Idaho law’s dispute process allows any person to question for any reason whether a person is a girl or a woman, and then shifts the physical and financial burden onto the challenged student to verify their sex by an invasive and unnecessary physical exam including invasive hormone and chromosome testing. The lack of objective standards in determining who is subjected to these examinations creates a grave opportunity for misconduct and for harassment and bullying of both transgender and cisgender women and girls.

“This case highlights the importance of protecting women, girls, and nonbinary individuals in sports and we implore the court to support the targeted athletes,” said Susan Ripley, president of League of Women Voters of Idaho. “The Idaho League’s membership is politically and ideologically diverse but we are unified in understanding the importance of pushing back on this invasive rule that will have ramifications for years to come for those subject to it.”  

“Transgender and intersex persons will be harmed by the enforcement of this law as well as cisgender women who stand to be singled out for their physical appearance,” said Celina Stewart, chief counsel for the League of Women Voters of the United States. “No woman or girl should have to endure this kind of sexual scrutiny by their peers or trusted adults, especially within the school environment which is designed for enrichment and fairness. This law does nothing to protect women, and it runs contrary to the League’s stated goal of securing equal rights and opportunities for all.”

The League of Women Voters and partners are represented by the National Women’s Law Center and the Hogan Lovells law firm. The National Women’s Law Center is proud to partner with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and lead 60 additional organizations to support the fight against Idaho’s law that imposes a blanket ban on women and girls who are transgender from participating on women and girls' student sports teams.

“This is certainly sex discrimination and this law violates both the U.S. Constitution and Title IX," confirms Sunu P. Chandy, NWLC’s legal director confirms. “Our brief highlights the ways that this kind of policing of bodies leads to the targeting of all women and girls who don’t conform to others’ expectations regarding sex stereotypes in their gender presentation and additional targeting of Black and Brown student athletes. We urge the court to uphold the decision to stop this illegal law that harms all women and girls.”

“If some members of the Idaho legislature and the governor sought to improve the lives of all women and girls by endorsing the ill-conceived and bigoted HB 500, they have failed and actually accomplished the exact opposite,” said Bryanna Jenkins, legal fellow at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “Sex and race discrimination pervade the history of athletics. H.B. 500 constitutes another chapter in this shameful history and is a law that will have a particularly devastating impact on women and girls of color.”

In June 2020, the Supreme Court ruled in Bostock v. Clayton County that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or transgender status constituted sex discrimination for the purposes of Title VII, and that firing someone based on their sexual orientation or transgender status constituted sex discrimination. The League and partners believe the law at the heart of Hecox v. Little violates Title IX protections and should be deemed illegal.

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Read the full amicus brief HERE.

Contact: Sarah Courtney | 202-263-1332 | scourtney@lwv.org

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_October 2020 -- Newly Recommended Books:

Debby Irving, Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race

 

In October 2020, Ta-Nehisi Coates' 2014 essay in The Atlantic, "The Case for Reparations,"  has been named the "most powerful essay of its time" by New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute.  
 
You can read this important essay online at:

Looking to learn more about race in America? UW professor emeritus Charles Johnson picks 4 books.

“Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison

“The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man” by James Weldon Johnson

“The World in Flames: A Black Boyhood in a White Supremacist Doomsday Cult” by Jerald Walker

“King: The Photobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.” by Bob Adelman and Charles Johnson 

And, your editor recommends "Middle Passage" by Charles Johnson.

Click here to read more about Dr. Johnson's recommendations.

 

Here are two books by David Treuer, Ojibwe, scholar and author, Ph.D., on faculty at Univ. of Southern California.

Rez Life: An Indian's Journey Through Reservation Life (2012).  A history of reservations including his own experience as Ojibwe on Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota.

The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America From 1890 to the Present (2019).  A remarkable history, something to read in small bites.

Here is a newly published book of interest:  Caste: The Origins of our Discontents  by Isabel Wilkerson.

 

LET’S TALK ABOUT RACE BOOK GROUP

Rescheduling of actual group meetings will be done as soon as we are confident about the ability to meet in-person.  But, reading is still a GO!

Remember, reading while cloistered is popular.

National Museum of African American History and Culture Releases “Talking About Race” Web Portal

Check out this website:  https://nmaahc.si.edu/about/news/national-museum-african-american-history-and-culture-releases-talking-about-race-web?fbclid=IwAR1Pr5ytQ-lGmODYUTm2Q5GaBaVjv87jY0Il25vf67MK_36LJLxXZtLOBYs

Links to Other Sites That May Help With Talks About Race

 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BRlF2_zhNe86SGgHa6-VlBO-QgirITwCTugSfKie5Fs/preview?fbclid=IwAR389jqVFjyCVc4GXELXOL_zoHjtrFHtqsz9I3J4NP4RGGHT8ctjApgaqIM&pru=AAABcpW1dCQ*yHEtLp1_Z-5PicNDD66JKg

 

https://www.naamnw.org/

 

https://www.blackpast.org/

 

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/aug/13/decolonising-dermatology-why-black-and-brown-skin-need-better-treatment

 

https://www.yesmagazine.org/issue/building-bridges/2019/11/12/the-collective-healing-that-is-owed/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=YESDaily_20200612&utm_content=YESDaily_20200612+CID_a892cf44bb07aec2dd7e585b18a91968&utm_source=CM&utm_term=Reparations%20Is%20No%20Longer%20Only%20About%20a%20Payout%20to%20Black%20Descendants%20of%20Slavery    

 

Here is a link to an article interviewing Ibram X. Kendi about being an anti-racist and his book How to be an Antiracist

 

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IMMIGRATION RELATED MATERIAL

LWVUS Position

The LWVUS priority statement related to Immigration is: Immigration policies should promote reunification of immediate families; market economic, business and employment needs; a nd be responsive to those facing political persecution or humanitarian crises. 

Click here for other information and resources offered by LWVUS.

 

 
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June 17, 2019 -- Second Annual Hispanic Roundtable Community Summit

LWV-TC participated in this summit, as an Exhibitor, as well as audience members.  It was especially fun to watch Amber Huffstickler as she did her graphic recording of the proceedings. 

              

   

 

One of many take home messages was that fully understanding, and being able to meet organizational goals in, a Multi-Cultural America is an evolving process.  It was suggested that it is important to have cultural awareness, gain in cultural competency, and enhance behavior with cultural humility.  The lively discussions made it easy to start a list of barriers that need to be addressed as League works on our confronting inequity agenda:  money, safe spaces for non-white voices to be heard, strong partnerships.

Having attended the Summit gave the three LWV-TC members who attended the opportunity to connect to the heart as well as the head.  We heard from informative speakers about immigration policy and the history of Latinx people in the United States.  We also heard the stories about how those policies hurt families, from the speakers and from individual attendees.  It was an opportunity for members from the dominant culture to listen and witness.  We learned a lot we can use to start a process of change.

 

 

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During the 2018 Convention in Chicago, the National League of Women Voters(LWVUS) held several workshops to introduce their new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy:  LWV is an organization fully committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in principle and in practice.  


LWVWA Policy on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion


LWV is an organization fully committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in principle and in practice. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are central to the organization’s current and future success in engaging all individuals, households, communities, and policy makers in creating a more perfect democracy.

We will actively work to remove barriers to full participation in this organization regardless of gender, gender identity, ethnicity, race, native or indigenous origin, age, generation, sexual orientation, culture, religion, belief system, marital status, parental status, socioeconomic status, language, accent, ability status, mental health, educational level or background, geography, nationality, work style, work experience, job role function, thinking style, personality type, physical appearance, political perspective or affiliation and/or any other characteristic that can be identified as recognizing or illustrating diversity.

 

 

LWVUS 2020 Convention also adopted the following resolution

We Resolve First, That the League advocates against systemic racism in the justice system and, at a minimum, for preventing excessive force and brutality by law enforcement. We also call for prompt actions by all League members to advocate within every level of government to eradicate systemic racism, and the harm that it causes;  

We Resolve Second, That the League help our elected officials and all Americans recognize these truths to be self-evident; that Black, Indigenous and all people of color (BIPOC) deserve equal protection under the law; and that we demand solutions for the terrible wrongs done, so that regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, disability, and gender identity or sexual orientation we may truly become a nation "indivisible, with liberty and justice for all".

 

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