The Insight Center is excited to announce the launch of “Hidden Truths,” first-hand accounts and experiences focused on exposing the root causes of economic exclusion and racial inequity to challenge current inequitable power structures so that everyone can fully participate in the economy, and have the freedom to bring their full selves to our diverse nation.

To stay up-to-date, be sure to subscribe to the Insight Center podcast on iTunes.

In the coming months, we’ll publish more stories of race, poverty, and segregation that expose hidden truths about economic exclusion and racial inequity in America.

Dr. Zoe Spencer + Anthony Jackson | Hidden Truths, Episode 8

Jhumpa Bhattacharya, Director of Racial Equity and Strategy, welcomed both Dr. Zoe Spencer and Anthony Jackson on the podcast to further discuss their ideas and research presented at the Association of Black Sociologists (ABS) Conference in Montréal, Quebec.

Currently teaching at Virginia State University, Dr. Spencer describes herself as “a Black woman activist and scholar from the projects of Washington D.C.”, who has dedicated her life to transformative action. Jackson is a scholar-activist, and graduate student at Howard University working towards building unity between academia and the streets for a transformative working class movement. At the ABS conference, she discussed black women’s resistance in a presentation called, “Sassy Mouths, Unfettered Spirits, and the Familiar Policing of Black Women’s Resistance.” Her presentation also introduced the theory of Post Traumatic Slave Master Syndrome.

Jackson and Dr. Spencer presented, “Screaming Genocide: A Theoretical Analysis of State Violence, Mass Incarceration, & The Declining Significance of Black Labor.” In this presentation, Jackson discussed state sanctioned violence, police brutality against black and brown people, and the decline in the need for Black labor. Listen to the podcast…

Ellen Wu | Hidden Truths, Episode 7

A self-described “Asian American history detective,” Dr. Ellen Wu is an associate professor of history and director of the Asian American Studies program at Indiana University, Bloomington.

Jhumpa Bhattacharya, Director of Racial Equity and Strategy, welcomed Ellen on the podcast to discuss her groundbreaking research on 20th century Asian American history, which she approaches with a critical eye on race, immigration, citizenship, and policy-making.

Ellen’s first book, The Color of Success: Asian Americans and the Origins of the Model Minority, details the sociopolitical context for the stark transformation of Asian American stereotypes in 20th century America, when fears of the “yellow peril” gave way to an embrace of the “model minority.” In exploring the intricate tensions and contradictions of this history, Jhumpa and Ellen discussed how politics, race relations, and other factors informed the development of the “model minority” myth, and they considered its ongoing implications for racial equity and opportunity in the U.S. Listen to the podcast…

Aurora Martin | Hidden Truths Podcast, Episode 6

Aurora Martin, former Executive Director of Columbia Legal Services in Washington State and an inaugural 2017 American Bar Association Innovation Fellow, recently left a long career working for justice in legal aid to launch anew social innovation startup that sits at the intersection of technology, art, justice, and popular culture.

Aurora joined Insight Center President Anne Price to discuss this new venture, PopUp Justice, which offers a bold, creative vision of social justice and innovation grounded in community, culture, and technology.

Reflecting on her professional and personal experiences from nearly two decades in the legal aid field, Aurora discussed the motivations behind PopUp Justice, the power and potential of digital technology and social collaboration, and the need to re-envision justice as a community-centered experience shaped by culture and communication, not just the inner workings of the legal system. Listen to the podcast…

Darrick Hamilton | Hidden Truths Podcast, Episode 5

For this episode of Hidden Truths, Insight Center President Anne Price welcomed Darrick Hamilton, stratification economist and professor of economics and urban policy at the New School for Social Research, to take a hard look at the path, pitfalls, and way forward for efforts to close the racial wealth gap.

Delving into the key drivers of racial economic disparities, Anne and Darrick discussed public policy, intergenerational wealth transfer, the changing nature of work, and how prevailing narratives draw attention away from the structural factors behind racial wealth differences. They also considered bold policy ideas like a Federal Job Guarantee, baby bonds, an economic bill of rights, and other proposals that could foster systemic change for racial economic equity.

“It is a moral imperative for us to try to facilitate a society that allows all individuals to have the capacity to build up their economic security and also to define what is important to them,” said Darrick. Listen to the podcast…

Aleah Rosario | Hidden Truths Podcast, Episode 4

Aleah Rosario is the Director of Capacity Building Programs at California School-Age Consortium (CalSAC)where she supports professionals and organizations in providing quality and affordable out-of-school time programs. She has also served CalSAC as an endorsed trainer, project leader, and chapter leader, and she is a graduate of CalSAC’s Leadership Development Institute (LDI) for Emerging Leaders of Color.

The mission of LDI is to equip emerging leaders of color in the early education and out-of-school time field with the training and experience they need to advance into higher leadership positions within their organization. This field includes educational programs like expanded learning, after-school programs, child care, early learning programs, and summer programs. LDI hopes to create more responsive programs, policies and services that reflect the racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity of the young people who attend these programs. Read more…

Alicia Walters | Hidden Truths Podcast, Episode 3

Alicia Walters is the co-founder of Echoing Ida, a national program of Forward Together, that helps amplify the voices of Black women and non-binary people. Inspired by the work of civil rights activist and journalist Ida B. Wells, Walters began Echoing Ida in 2012 to position Black women in media as the experts they are. “In many ways, Black women were at the bottom of the heap – when it came to health, when it came to wealth,” said Walters as she described how the project came about. “And when you turned on the TV or listened to the radio we weren’t being called upon as experts in our own lives.”

Echoing Ida teaches Black women how to hone in on their lived experiences and expertise to become change makers and go-to thought leaders. Echoing Ida writers, or Idas, draw on their distinctive perspectives to provide effective and trusted analysis on issues impacting their communities. Read more…

Dr. David J. Pate | Hidden Truths Podcast, Episode 2

David Pate, an Associate Professor at the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, is an expert on low-income Black men, fatherhood, and child support debt. David researches the challenges Black men face in the social welfare system and how they make ends meet.

Most recently, Pate is examining the impact of  “toxic stress” on Black men. This stress results from early traumatic experiences or life changing events that have a lasting, negative impact throughout adulthood. “You’re walking around with your past childhood experiences that never got attended to as an adult,” explains Pate.

As part of his research, Pate interviewed 200 Black men and examined their physical and mental health, access to health care, adverse childhood experiences, and other factors. After the interviews were conducted, he analyzed their profiles in respect to ten conventional components of adverse childhood experiences that contribute to toxic stress; five components relate to issues of child abuse and neglect and five pertain to family dysfunction. Read more…

Jahmil Lacey | Hidden Truths Podcast

Jahmil Lacey, a public health researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, is working to address health disparities among African American men in underserved locations around the Bay Area. A team of physicians, researchers, public health advocates, and community organizations have all come together to launch a new health initiative that cares for people, not profits.

Lacey’s effort is called TrapMedicine, which leverages the cultural capital of barbershops as an upstream strategy for addressing disparities in chronic disease and mental health among African American men and boys. “Culture and trust are the two pillars of this initiative and what we need to focus on to achieve equity,” says Lacey. From his previous experiences managing school-based health centers and running high school youth programs, he has learned that in order to see sustainable improvements the community must have trust in your understanding of their culture and, most importantly, in you. Read more…

screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-4-37-02-pmShanya Hayes | In Her Own Voice

Shanya Hayes is going places. While many students her age spend their summer vacations doing anything but school work, this bright young scholar has been staking out her future.

And as her ambition leads her toward new understandings, she’s learning more about what her journey might entail as a young Black woman growing up in a society still deeply marked by bias and its profound but not always visible effects.

A junior at Charles E. Jordan High School in Durham, North Carolina, Shanya is a participant in the Scholars to College program at the Emily K Center. As part of its mission to develop student leaders and break the cycle of poverty, this nonprofit organization provides college readiness programming and other services to academically-focused students with financial need.

Through this holistic college-readiness program, Shanya enjoys weekly small-group instruction and one-on-one guidance during the school year, and she is engaged in academic, leadership, and career-related enrichment activities over the summer. Read more…

Stories - exposing hidden truths of inequalityElinam “Eli” Dellor | In Her Own Voice

Elinam “Eli” Dellor comes from a family of strong, Black women who pushed through social and geographic boundaries to accomplish the extraordinary. Her grandmother, Irene Akosua Dei, overcame significant adversity as a young orphan in Ghana, where she survived through subsistence work and taught herself how to read and write before going on to successfully raise eight children of her own, including Eli’s mother, Pat.

Pat continued Irene’s legacy by becoming one of the first in her family to attend college and practice sports medicine in Ghana – a field where women were scarce. Facing limits to what she could accomplish in Ghana, she made the difficult choice to move her family to the U.S. in search of greater opportunity and a better life for her children. “My parents are immigrants and they came here for a very specific reason – to ensure that we don’t struggle as much as they had to struggle,” Eli explains.

Today, Eli stands on the shoulders of her mother and grandmother as a bright and ambitious Black woman and first-generation immigrant who has a Ph.D. in Public Health from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Read more…