Courageous conversations about race and racism must begin with self. Confucius teaches that “By three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the most bitter.”
- The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education reported that it received 10,392 complaints in 2015, as compared with 5,533 in 2005. That is the highest number since OCR was established in 1980.
- Twenty one percent of complaints were related to discrimination based on race or national origin. There was 146 racial harassment complaints that the OCR received at the college level in 2015 which was almost three times the amount in 2005.
- The 2015 African American Policy Forum study “Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced and Underprotected,” reports that Black girls are suspended from school six times more often than White girls.
- In the 2015 report “Diversity Matters,” McKinsey & Company finds that in racial diversity: 97 percent United States companies have senior-leadership teams that fail to reflect the demographic composition of the country’s labor force and population.
Data is a mirror through which our truer self is revealed. Intentional, honest, unapologetic conversations about racial disparity in education, and across each sector of our society, allows us to reflect upon and act in truth toward becoming our better self.