Explore the shortcomings of colorblind trauma and poverty interventions, as well as how race-based interventions are needed to address the root of disproportionate levels of trauma and poverty in the Black community.

While it is clear that these racial disparities exist, the main strategies to address poverty and mental health often lack a racial lens. This Snapshots presentation contrasts the effectiveness and impact of interventions that address race with interventions that are colorblind.

With examples from Oakland Freedom Schools, presenter Macheo Payne showcases how programs can achieve breakthrough impact in closing the opportunity gap (also known as the achievement gap). Oakland Freedom Schools is a summer literacy program for students of color and low-income families that is specifically designed to address cultural, racial, and societal issues alongside reading skills.

Oakland Freedom Schools adapts its practices to acknowledge the latest findings related to poverty, trauma, and race:

  • Students of color perform better with teachers of color
  • Parents of color want more rigor and challenge for their children in schools
  • When the curriculum is culturally relevant, students do better

When nonprofits address race and culture alongside interventions aimed at poverty and trauma among Black students, we more wholly address the issues so that the impact is more durable and sustainable and supports community.