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Week 1: Black Lives Matter


Day 1: Core Workout

24% of people killed by the police under any circumstance are Black, though blacks only make up 12% of the US’s total population.
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This staggering number shows how disproportionately the Black community is targeted by the police- and this data is by no means recent. The reports released by the NYPD in 1996 and 1997 show that 87.5 of those killed in shootings were non-whites. The following years, the NYPD stopped reporting information about race in police shootings altogether, shortly after Amadou Diallo, a Black man, was killed by the police. 41 bullets were shot at the unarmed man. 

On February 26, 2000, the New York Times published that the four officers who were responsible for Diallo’s death were cleared of all charges. The police officers responsible believed that they had seen Diallo pulling out a gun as he entered his apartment, but in actuality, it was his wallet. They claimed that he resembled a serial rapist they were looking for, and when Diallo hadn’t responded to their orders to stop, they subsequently fired 41 bullets, 19 of which made contact with Diallo. The officers admitted their mistake during trial, however were not found guilty of any crime. 

Diallo likely pulled out his wallet so he could show his ID to the approaching four officers. However, the officers’ snap judgement caused the loss of Amadou Diallo’s life. Would he have been murdered had he been a White man? Based on the data, it seems extremely unlikely. The police’s disproportionate attacks on Black Americans isn’t a recent trend, it’s been embedded in our society for centuries.

To learn more about Diallo’s story, please read the following articles, which is where the information above was found:

NYCLU v. New York City Police Department (Seeking access to racial data for police shootings)

THE DIALLO VERDICT: THE OVERVIEW; 4 OFFICERS IN DIALLO SHOOTING ARE ACQUITTED OF ALL CHARGES

Mapping Police Violence

Workout

DO 5 SETS: 

  • 1 min plank
  • 30 sec- rights side plank
  • 30 sec- left side plank
  • 30 seconds- mountain climbers
  • 30 seconds- crunches
  • 30 sec- Russian twists
  • 1 min- rest

After doing 5 sets of those, do 1.5 min cobra pose to stretch abs


Day 2: 1.3 mile cardio

Black Americans who are arrested are 1.3x less likely to be armed than White Americans arrested in the same conditions.
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Studies by data scientists have concluded that 17% of Black Americans killed by the police were unarmed, contrasting the 12% of white Americans who were also unarmed and killed by the police. These findings suggest that Black Americans killed by the police were 1.3x less likely to be armed than those who were white, yet continue to be killed at 2.5 times the rate of White Americans under identical circumstances. 

In 2018, Antwon Rose, an unarmed 17 year-old was shot and killed by officer Michael Rosfield. The officer claimed that the car he was riding in resembled that of one involved in an earlier drive by shooting. When Rosefield approached his vehicle, Rose attempted to flee and the officer immediately shot him three times. Later evidence pointed to the fact that Rose had nothing to do with the shooting, and the second the officer pulled the trigger, he had denied Antwon his Sixth amendment rights to a fair trial. 

Antwon had been a bright, young student who took advanced placement classes, volunteered regularly, and taught the other kids in his neighborhood how to rollerblade and skateboard. His life was taken from him at seventeen, and the officer who killed him walked free. In the trial, Michael Rosfield was found not guilty of First degree murder, Third degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, and involuntary manslaughter. 

To read more on this story, please read the listed articles, where the information above was found:

Controversial Police Encounters Fast Facts 

Infographic: Black Americans 2.5X More Likely Than Whites to Be Killed By Police

The death of the unarmed teen killed by an East Pittsburgh police officer is ruled a homicide

Mapping Police Violence

Workout

2 miles of cardio


Day 3: 1252 second HIIT workout

Since January 1, 2015, 1,252 black people have been shot and killed by police and that does not include those who died in police custody or were killed using other methods.
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Police killing is defined as when an individual is caused physical harm that leads to death, whether an officer is on or off duty. Some examples of harm are tasing, beating, shooting, aggressive restraining, pepper spray, and being hit by a police vehicle.

In the past five years, there have been 1,252 recorded cases of Black American deaths by police shootings.  This statistic does not include other methods of death under police custody or homicides committed by citizens that are not in the police force. It also does not include the numerous cases that have occurred in 2020. Even if those numbers were included, there are a number of cases that have not been reported, so we may never truly know the accurate number of racially motivated killings. 

The number of officers charged for their actions is even smaller compared to the number that commit excessive levels of violence against the black citizens of the United States.  For example, in 2015, there were 104 cases of police killings of unarmed black people.  In thirteen of those cases, the police involved were charged.  In four of those cases, the officer involved was convicted, but spent no more than four years imprisoned.  One of the officers convicted spent three months incarcerated.  Another officer spent his one year sentence incarcerated only on the weekends. Every officer received a sentence abnormal and extremely minimal of the punishment required by law for murdering another human being.   

The information outlined above, and much more regarding police violence, can be found here: 

About the Data

Workout

2 SETS, 15 sec rest after every exercise:

1 min each

  • Wall sit
  • Crunches
  • High knees
  • Squat jumps
  • Push ups
  • Lunges
  • Tricep dips

To finish (only do these once): 

  • 1 min, 21 sec plank
  • 30 sec hamstring stretch, each side
  • 30 sec hip flexor stretch, each side

Day 4: Sprint workout (6×5)

Black women are paid 65 cents to every dollar that a White man makes.
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There is a significant disparity regarding the rate of pay between men and women.  Even between women in the workforce, there is a noticeable wage gap.  Black women earn around 65 cents on a white man’s dollar, whereas white women make 80 cents on the dollar earned by a white man with the same profession.  This difference in pay contradicts the amount of education black women receive, and the amount of representation they have in the national workforce.  Black women represent 64 percent of the black community with bachelor’s degrees as well as 53 percent of the female workforce. 

There is an annual day in which black women’s pay finally reaches equality with white men’s pay.  Black Women’s Equal Pay Day should be everyday, although the rate of pay remains much less than white males. If there was no wage gap, there would be a multitude of benefits that black women, and their families, would experience. If a black woman working full-time were to have the same pay as white men, she would be able to pay approximately twenty-two more months of rent.  She would be able to afford about an extra three years worth of groceries for her family.  A black woman, if paid equally to that of her white male colleagues, would be able to support an additional two and a half years of child care for her children.  These are a few examples from the list of opportunities for black women and their families that are blocked due to wage inequality- a list much too long to overlook. 

For more information on black female wage gaps, visit the following websites where the above information was found: 

Black Women’s Equal Pay Day: Why We Need To See Color

Black Women and the Wage Gap

Workout

6×5 sets of sprints

 First 2 sets: 25 yards 

Second 2 sets:50  yards 

Third 2 set : 100 yards


Day 5: 99 rep workout

99% of killings by police have not resulted in officers being convicted with a crime.
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Yes, 99% of murders committed at the hands of law enforcement officers go unpunished. 99% of modern-day lynchings, executed by those whose sole purpose is to protect and serve go unpunished. 99% of those who breathe their last breath, and say their last words while eye-level with a police badge aren’t considered valuable enough to prompt a conviction. In many cases, racially biased police officers’ power goes unchecked, and their crimes go unpunished. 

During the era of slavery, slave patrols served to protect the wealthy white landowners, which was almost always at the expense of their slaves. This system served as a precursor to the modern police system. During the Jim Crow era that followed after the Civil war, centralized, male, white police departments formed in major cities.They instituted the “Black Codes” which mandated a code of conduct for all freed slaves, and the continued lack of nonwhite officers amplified the racist system. When the civil rights era came about decades later, protests were met with tear gas, high pressure hoses, and attack dogs. These unjust laws and inappropriate responses have been mirrored in society today- NYC “Stop and Frisk” laws have given the authority to law enforcement officers to stop anyone “suspicious” on the street. The recent rise in protests against systemic racial injustices are being met the same way they were in the 1960s, with some law enforcement officers utilizing tear gas and rubber bullets.

Now while you’re performing 99 Crunches, push-ups, burpees, or sit-ups,think about that. Realize that black men and women are disproportionately targeted, routinely brutalized, and oftentimes murdered by police. Realize that the killers are walking free. Realize that they’re on administrative leave, when murder is a crime punished by incarceration, or in some states, capital punishment. Realize how much blood they have on their hands. Realize that there are some police officers getting away with murder. Realize that it’s legal for a murderer with a police badge to take a black man’s life. Realize that the policing system is programmed to protect those who are anti-black.

Once you realize, do something about it. Educate yourself and others, advocate with and for the black community- use your voice. Organize, sign petitions, and make calls. Demand that black lives be valued as equal to all other lives in this nation. Demand that the police officers committing racially motivated murders are punished. Demand that blackness isn’t met with violence. It’s time to acknowledge the corruption and racism within the system of the police forces of the nation, expose the system’s wrongdoings, and meticulously reconstruct it. It’s time to give 100%. 

The statistics discussed above can be found at

 Mapping Police Violence

Stop-and-Frisk Data

Workout

Do 99 of any of the following exercises:

  • Crunches
  • Push ups
  • Burpees
  • Sit ups

Day 6: 2 mile cardio

The infant mortality rate is more than twice as high for Black children than it is for White children.
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Infant mortality rates are significantly greater among black children than white children.  This is not a genetic issue, but rather a racial discriminatory issue. New research studies have increasingly shown that stress induced by this discrimination plays a significant role in both maternal and infant mortality. When a mother is stressed, her body generates an increased level of cortisol, norepinephrine, and inflammation that affect the fetal environment.  This increase creates implications on both the maternal and infant health, and leads to further issues such as preterm birth, low birth weight, and infant mortality. 

In 2018, Mattina Davenport became pregnant with a baby girl. While pregnant, Davenport was a graduate student at Missouri University.  She was also working two assistantships, finishing her master’s thesis, and trying to pass the qualifying exams to pursue her doctorate. She was the only African-American student in her graduate program, and with that came racial tensions on the Missouri University campus.  The racial tension led to further stress on Davenport and her unborn child. With the combination of work stress and stress resulting from racial discrimination, her child Maliyah Rose Johnson was born at 22 weeks, a premature baby. Maliyah passed away a few hours after her birth. Mattina and Maliyahs story is not rare nor unseen- infant mortality in black children is a growing issue that has yet to be conquered. 

For more information on this topic and to read more about Mattina’s story, please visit the links below, which is where the information above was found.

Bearing the Burden: How racism-related stress hurts America’s black mothers and babies

Exploring African Americans’ High Maternal and Infant Death Rates

Workout

2 mile cardio


Day 7: 27 minute training for your sport

There were only 27 days in 2019 where the police did not kill someone.
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The job of law enforcement is to serve and protect the communities that fund their existence as an organization. The police are meant to keep order, to serve the community they work in, and to protect the citizens of the community. They are not meant to be the judge, the jury, or the executioner. Although, on 338 days of the past year, a person’s life has been taken at the hands of a police officer. That’s over 90% of the year. On each of those 338 days, a different family had to get the call that their loved one was fatally shot by those very people who were made an oath to serve and protect those in the community. They had to process that grief, that anger, that fear, along with the possibility that their loved ones would never get justice. The policing system in place today protects these officers from their actions, even when the consequences are fatal.The blame  and responsibility could be relieved by the protection some officers so often receive. But the skin of the black and brown people who live in fear that one day, they too will become a statistic, another number, one more out of those 338 days, can never be taken away. 

When you think about the times you’ve encountered an officer, ask yourself the following questions:

Was I pulled over despite following all the rules? 

Was the police officer violent or aggressive with me? 

Was I ever afraid of being forcefully pulled out of my vehicle, hit, or shot? 

Would my situation have been handled differently based on my race? 

Racially biased police officers should not have the power to make law-abiding citizens fear for their lives. As we think about the next years to come, we need to ask ourselves,  how many more people need to die each day before we begin to dismantle the system that protects those who wrongfully take their lives? How many more days each year need to be filled with sorrow, grief, or injustice? How many more statistics will be read before our politicians begin to implement policies that lead to tangible change? 

The statistic discussed above can be found at 

Mapping Police Violence

Workout

Train for your sport (or any type of general cardio) for 27 continuous minutes

Categories
Workouts

Week 2: Black Lives Matter


Day 1: HIIT Workout

African Americans make up around 12 to 13% of the population, but only 0.8% of Fortune 500 CEOs.
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There are a multitude of inequalities in the workplaces of the United States. At the highest level of businesses, the CEOs, there is a miniscule amount of black representation. In fact, 0.8 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are representatives of the black population of the US.  There have been six total black CEOs of Fortune 500 Companies, the largest companies in the nation. Today, there are only four black CEOS in the Fortune 500 realm. There are 500 CEOs.

Black men and women together make up only eight percent of the professional, white collar workforce. Compared to the percentage of representation in the US population, the percentage of white collar workforce is not an accurate representation.  This disparity has its roots embedded in various other racial issues, such as access to education and application discrimination.

 Historically, the wages of black people have been less than the wages of white people, and so the question of past salaries puts the black applicant behind the white before they are even offered an interview, or their application is passed to the next step.  This is one of the many causes of the lack of black representation in higher paying, professional or business jobs in the United States.

There are only 4 black Fortune 500 CEOS. Here they are.

How many black Fortune 500 CEOs are there? Only four in 2020

Why Aren’t Black Employees Getting More White-Collar Jobs?

Workout

8 sets   

  • 13 squats
  • 13 crunches
  • 13 pushups


Day 2: 2 mile cardio

The Black unemployment rate is twice as high as thee white unemployment rate. 
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There are many causes of unemployment within the United States.  For black citizens of the nation, though, discrimination based on the color of their skin is an added factor that contributes to unemployment.  During COVID-19, the unemployment rate of black men has reached 16.1%, and 16.4% for black women.  Both rates more than doubled, from 7% and 5% respectively.  Although, white men’s unemployment rate started at 3.7%, and is now around 12.4%- both values are significantly less than those of the black community. 

It can also be noticed that originally, the unemployment of black men was more than double that of white men. Also, the average of the black men and women’s unemployment rates, 6%, is close to double that of the white man’s unemployment rate.  

Interestingly, the unemployment rate for black citizens is highest during the ages most start having their own families, from 25 to 34.  This is one of the most vital times in someone’s life to have a job, as people have to support themselves as well as their growing family.  That spike is not present in the white population, and the highest unemployment rates are found where one might expect them- during the age range of 20 to 24, when most people are students, and their main job is school.

There are a few contributors to the disparity between black and white unemployment rates. One cause of the difference is living patterns.  Blacks are more likely to live in economically depressed areas, where income levels are much lower than those in the white neighborhoods.  This is a deeply rooted issue that can be traced back to the segregation of cities and towns by race, with blacks being placed in locations with lower access to good paying jobs. A combination of efforts by the police force and housing authorities caused segregation of races in living areas, and the prices of black homes were inflated, further harming the economic status of black communities.  With this de jure segregation, or government sponsored segregation, black societies have been economically suppressed since the years of segregation, and continue to be today.  The lower economic status of black communities can be directly connected to the lack of access to the kind of jobs available in white communities, both by location and by the long standing discriminatory ideas that black people should not have access to those jobs.

The information found above, and more, regarding unemployment rates and their connection to de jure segregation can be found in the following sources:

E-16. Unemployment rates by age, sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

Unemployment rate during COVID-19 highest among Hispanic and Black Americans

“The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America” by Richard Rothstein 

Workout

2 miles of cardio UPDATE THIS VID**


Day 3: Lower Body Workout

From 2013 to 2017, white patients received better quality healthcare than 40% of black patients
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Throughout history, black patients have been subject to more second-rate health care than white patients. Differences in treatment and care of numerous illnesses, such as diabetes, cardiac issues and organ transplants, can be tied directly to racial discrimination. The National Academy of Medicine has performed numerous studies, finding that death by a multitude illnesses can be linked to inferior levels of care given by physicians to people of color. 

The difference in care can be connected to both conscious and unconscious biases of physicians in the medical field. The bias that directly contributes to differences in care is known as implicit bias, that leads to cases of unintentional maltreatment of black patients. Black patients consequently receive less attention, and medication required to treat or address illnesses, than white patients.  It has also been found that black women receive even lower quality healthcare than black men.

For these reasons, it would make sense that at least forty percent of black patients receive lower quality healthcare treatment than white patients. The implicit bias within physicians causes a disparity in care giving based on the race of the patient.

For more information regarding disparities in health care treatment by race, visit the following websites where the information above was found:

Implicit Bias and Racial Disparities in Health Care

An Examination of Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care

Race, Ethnicity, Culture, and Disparities in Health care

11 facts about racial discrimination

Workout

5 sets of: 

  • 40 squats
  • 40 jump squats
  • 40 walking lunges

Day 4: 30 minute interval workout

The black maternal mortality rate is 3.3 times greater than the white maternal mortality rate.
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Although police brutality is a common discussion surrounding the racial mistreatment and inequalities in the United States, there are discrepancies within the healthcare system as well.  Specifically, between black women and white women, health complications during and due to pregnancies is much greater in frequency among the former group. 

Hypertensive disorders are one of the leading causes of maternal mortality due to pregnancy.  Some of these disorders are preeclampsia, gestational and chronic hypertension.  Black women are more likely to experience hypretensive disorders due to pregnancy than white women, and so they are more likely to pass away from the symptoms of pregnancy.  

According to studies regarding healthcare treatment, a solution to the differences in maternal mortality would be replacing implicit bias within healthcare with equal treatment regardless of a patient’s race.  Additionally, standardizing protocols to respond to chances of maternal mortality across all healthcare locations, no matter the community they serve, would help decrease the prevalence of implicit bias, and increase the quality of care for black mothers-to-be.

For more information regarding maternal mortality, where the information above was found, visit the following websites: 

Racial and Ethnic Disparities Continue in Pregnancy-Related Deaths | CDC Online Newsroom

Hypertensive disease of pregnancy and maternal mortality

Workout

30 minutes of cardio with 30 second sprint every 3 minutes 

Possible options: running, cycling, rowing, swimming


Day 5: Core workout

Nearly half (45%) of African Americans report having experienced racial discrimination when trying to rent an apartment or buy a home
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Though restrictive covenants were prohibited under Shelley v. Kraemer (1948) and again in the 1968 Fair Housing Act, the issue of housing discrimination persists, even fifty years later. While many claim that this type of discrimination is a rare occurrence, evidence points to the fact that the President himself, Donald Trump, is guilty of such discrimination.

Sheila Morse, an employee of the NYC Human Rights Division, remembers a client of hers who was denied an apartment on the basis of race. The black man who reported the incidence said that he had seen a Brooklyn apartment with the sign “apartment for rent”. When he went to meet with the superintendent, he was told that the apartment was rented, and the sign should have been taken down. When Morse (who was white) went to the building to ask about the same apartment, it appeared to now be for sale, and she was shown every aspect of the apartment. The building superintendent worked for Trump Management. 

After a case that spanned over the course of two years, a settlement was made that required the Trumps to publish newspaper ads welcoming black applicants, and familiarize themselves with the Fair Housing Act. Trump was not required to admit his guilt, nor were there any serious repercussions.

Though this particular case occurred several decades ago, this theme of discrimination has continued. Last month, on May 18, 2020, a lawsuit was filed against several managers of multifamily housing communities in Georgia, on the basis of discrimination. From 2012 to 2020, the managers had allegedly steered black applicants away from a predominantly white housing complex and into a predominantly black one. The complexes are in close proximity to one another. The case also states that elderly or disabled African Americans faced even greater discrimination, and were given less favorable rental terms, clearly in violation of the 1968 Fair Housing Act.

This information, and much more, can be found on the websites listed below:

AAPF Housing Discrimination 

Atlanta-Based Landlords Accused of Discriminating Against Blacks 

Housing discrimination underpins the staggering wealth gap between blacks and whites 

Discrimination in America: Experiences and Views – RWJF 

Workout

4 sets of 5 x 45 second exercises

  • 45 second plank
  • 45 seconds reverse crunches
  • 45 seconds flutter kicks
  • 45 seconds leg raises (lay down on back, sit on hands)
  • 45 seconds toe taps or “penguins”

Day 6: 1000 rep challenge

Institutions where black Americans disproportionately receive their credentials spend an average of about 1000$ less per student than institutions that have an overwhelmingly white demographic.
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For decades, the United States has taken pride in its institutions, and the educational opportunities that are offered by those institutions. There are some universities that are historically black, not necessarily a result of segregation but rather a natural trend or choice. However, recent data has shown that these predominantly black institutions, known as HBCUs, are underfunded and lack the support that PWIs receive. 

Several years ago in Maryland, a federal judge found that specialty programs created by traditionally white schools often led to a form of “separate but equal”, which did not benefit the black community at all. Additionally, the Association of Public and Land-grant universities found that historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) were underfunded by $56 million. 

Typically, the federal government contribution toward Land grant universities is matched by the state government. However, it was discovered that historically white institutions were receiving this matched funding from the state of Maryland, while HBCUs did not receive those funds. According to Trisha Bishop of the Baltimore Sun, “One in five African-American college graduates earned their degrees at HBCUS; black colleges graduated nearly all black students (90 percent) who earned bachelor’s degrees in STEM fields between 2006 and 2010; black colleges produce half of all black public school teachers, half of all future lawyers and eight in 10 black judges.” Well funded historically black institutions are a fundamental part of a diversified and equal education system in America, and without them, black students would be losing countless opportunities. 

Without this much needed funding, tuition is raised, and the quality of education decreases. In a nation that is already plagued with racial inequalities, educational discrepancies including this lack of funding only make it more difficult to be a Black person in America. 

Recent Findings Question State Support Of Black Colleges 

The Neglected College Race Gap: Racial Disparities Among College Completers 

Workout

1000 rep challenge

  • 100 crunches
  • 200 mountain climbers
  • 100 calf raises
  • 100 bodyweight squats
  • 200 jumping jacks
  • 100 skaters
  • 100 russian twists
  • 100 pushups

Day 7: 19 minute cardio

19% of African Americans say they have experienced discrimination when trying to vote or participate in politics.
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 The United States of America’s founding principles embrace the ideals of freedom and equality, but it is a nation built on the systematic exclusion and suppression of communities of color. The 15th Amendment to the Constitution states that the right of any citizen of the United States to vote cannot be denied on the basis of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude”. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 ensures that state and local governments could not pass laws or policies that deny American citizens the equal right to vote based on race. However, countless black Americans continue to experience disenfranchisement and discrimination when trying to vote or participate in politics.

In 2013, the Supreme Court ruled in a case called Shelby County v. Holder that Section 4b of the Voting Rights Act, which designated the jurisdictions with a history of discrimination, and Section 5, which required that the identified jurisdictions submit any proposed changes in voting procedures to the U.S Department of Justice or a federal district D.C. court before it went into effect, were unconstitutional. This critical piece of legislation was a key player in preventing minority voters from being harmed. Without it, states with a history of overt white supremacy and voter suppression could once again manipulate their voting policies and procedures without first seeking approval from federal officials. This ruling came after the 2012 federal election cycle, in which black voters had a higher turnout than white voters. 

The response to Shelby County v. Holder was predictable., North Carolinian lawmakers rushed to impose strict voter identification requirements. The NAACP of North Carolina filed a suit against the identification requirement, claiming that “only those types of photo ID disproportionately held by whites and excluded those disproportionately held by African Americans.” This law was eliminated only after a federal court ruled that North Carolina sought to target black voters. Nevertheless, countless other jurisdictions passed similar laws that continue to disenfranchise black voters.

Another issue regarding black voter suppression has come to light given the current Coronavirus pandemic. Under the current circumstances, voting in person is no longer a viable option for most voters. Therefore, many states have turned to mail-in ballots. In the recent Georgia primaries, election officials require voters to use their own postage when submitting mail in absentee ballots and applications. Postage costs money. Thus, Georgia has imposed a poll tax in violation of the Constitution. While paying for postage might seem like a miniscule problem to upper and middle class voters, marginalized voters who come from communities who have historically faced over a century of racist voter suppression, including the use of poll taxes to disenfranchise voters, and who rightfully refuse to pay another cent for the right to vote.

Voters who decided to make the journey to the polls in Georgia all experience disenfranchisement. Marneia Mitchell, an black woman from in the same neighborhood that Martin Luther King Jr. grew up, waited in line for hours on end despite the nearly 90 degree weather. “It’s disgusting,” she said. “It’s despicable.” Another woman named Terri Russell, a 57 year old with bronchitis and asthma, had also been waiting in the line. She requested an absentee ballot in order to vote from the safety of her home, but never received one. “I refuse not to be heard and so I am standing in line,” she said.

‘I Refuse Not to Be Heard’: Georgia in Uproar Over Voting Meltdown 

Systematic Inequality and American Democracy 

Shelby County v. Holder 

overruled New York’s withdrawal 

Workout

19 continuous minutes of cardio

Categories
Stories

Aeneas Hawkins

My name is Aeneas Hawkins and I am from Cincinnati Ohio. I’m the son of a loving mother and father who have both been very active parents. I am a brother to four sisters. They are my best friends, and everything that I aspire towards is for them. I am a football player at Penn State, where I study broadcast journalism. My intentions are to go to law school and defend those who need legal help most. I grew up in church and that’s where most of my values stem from. I’m a firm believer that having positive role models within reach is crucial to a young person’s growth. Personally, I gravitated to the men on my father’s side of the family. Nearly every one of them either played Division I football or played professionally. We always joke that football is our family business, however it’s a reality that has played a big part in how my identity has developed over time.

I grew up in an all white neighborhood, but was homeschooled until I went to high school. I’d admit that being homeschooled sheltered me from the harsh realities of what being a black man in this country means. It was not until I got to Moeller High School that I began to see with my own eyes the ways in which people like me are made to feel less valued. In my own experience, I quickly learned that the stigma around big black football players is grim. I was presumed to be uneducated, violent, and incapable of making mature decisions before being given the opportunity to prove otherwise. As a young man especially, this realization angered me beyond anything I had ever felt. I would like to say, I’m not THE most intelligent person out there, but up until high school I had thrived academically, and played classical piano at a high level. I say that to say this- the anger and frustration that stemmed from the awareness of knowing that some of my own classmates and teachers looked down upon me purely because of the color of my skin sent me down a road of depression. The joy and peace that had defined who I was was stolen from me in my youth. 

My mother one day pulled me aside and said it seemed as if I was just in “survival mode”. She said I had become a shell of myself. My grades suffered so much that I nearly did not qualify to accept an athletic scholarship. She told me she prayed for me. I’m a very spiritual man myself, and her saying that the only way she could help me was to pray spoke volumes. It showed me that neither of us had truly been equipped with ways to combat racism on an actionable level. I made a decision that day to find action and to take it.

My people are crying out for help. For hundreds of years black men, women, and children have been sold, raped, killed, oppressed, taken advantage of, run a muck, and belittled. I am angry and so are my people. As a football player, everything about my entire existence has built me to fight. I’ve learned to fight for my people and am still learning how to now. I educate myself through conversation and reading. I’ve learned the importance of going to vote. I’ve practiced hitting the streets with my brothers and sisters to protest and fight the oppression and violence we have been subjected to. What I was surprised to learn is that taking action has been the most healing activity for me yet. I remember the first protest I was a part of vividly. The pain in people’s voices moved me to goosebumps and tears. It was the first time I could see firsthand that these feelings and experiences I was having were shared. In these moments, I think about my four beautiful sisters, my future wife, and my kids. I want them to know their power, value, and beauty. I do not want them to ever feel the same way I have felt, or the way that my people sometimes feel.

Lately, my focus in life has shifted. I have spent too much time solely focused on becoming the best athlete I can be. I believe that my power is much greater off of the field and in my community than it is on the field. A part of my mission now is to help my fellow black student athletes realize the power and influence that they hold. I believe that if we can come together to combat these issues we are faced with, we can make a great difference. 

Recently at a gas station, I was confronted by a racist man at my pump. As he closed the distance between us, all I could think about was the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery. I had done nothing wrong and was being aggressively targeted again for the color of my skin. I survived this incident, but the very evening it happened I made a promise that I would fight for my people because lives are still being threatened and taken daily. As we continue to move into the post George Floyd era, I’d encourage and challenge people to still be active and fight for change even when it’s not trendy or convenient to do so. This fight is not over. There is work to be done and we need people who will do it. Be the people.

Categories
Workouts

Week 3: Black LGBTQ+


Day 1: Upper Body Workout

32 percent of children being raised by Black same-sex couples live in poverty, compared to 13 percent of children being raised by heterosexual Black parents and just 7 percent being raised by married heterosexual white parents.​
Learn More ▼

This staggering number shows how disproportionately the Black community is targeted by law enforcement as a system- and this data is by no means recent. This is the direct result of a corrupt system that allows some officers to perpetuate violence without fear of consequence. For instance, the reports released by the NYPD in 1996 and 1997 show that 87.5 of those killed in shootings were non-whites. The following years, the NYPD stopped reporting information about race in police shootings altogether, shortly after Amadou Diallo, a Black man, was killed by the four officers. 41 bullets were shot at the unarmed man. 

On February 26, 2000, the New York Times published that the four officers who were responsible for Diallo’s death were cleared of all charges. The police officers responsible believed that they had seen Diallo pulling out a gun as he entered his apartment, but in actuality, it was his wallet. They claimed that he resembled a serial rapist they were looking for, and when Diallo hadn’t responded to their orders to stop, they subsequently fired 41 bullets, 19 of which made contact with Diallo. The officers admitted their mistake during trial, however were not found guilty of any crime. 

Diallo likely pulled out his wallet so he could show his ID to the approaching four officers. However, these particular officers’ snap judgement caused the loss of Amadou Diallo’s life. Would he have been murdered had he been a White man? Based on the data, it seems extremely unlikely. The police’s disproportionate attacks on Black Americans isn’t a recent trend, it’s been embedded in our society for centuries. 

To learn more about Diallo’s story, please read the following articles, which is where the information above was found:

Workout

Two sets of three 32 rep exercises

  • 32 pushups
  • 32 tricep dips
  • up and down plank, 32x (16 each side)


Day 2: 1.3 mile cardio with 1.3 minute intervals

According to a 2014 report on hate violence against LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities, Black survivors of hate violence were 1.3 times more likely to experience police violence than their non-Black counterparts. 
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In regards to hate crimes, those who are seen as different, or do not conform with societally placed guidelines and expectations are often met with hate.  That hate is expressed in various ways, but physical violence is the most apparent to the naked eye.  Although many members of the LGBTQ+ community experience hate violence, it is more prevalent amongst the black members of the community than their white counterparts.  Additionally, black people who identify as LGBTQ+ who endure hate violence are 1.3 times more likely to experience violence inflicted by police.  

If a member of society is attacked by citizens for their identity and feel safe to contact authorities to receive justice for the wrongdoings acted upon them, they will most likely be treated as victims.  Although it is most prevalent among white heterosexual citizens of the US, white LGBTQ+ citizens receive this kind of treatment more often than black LGBTQ+ citizens. Black transgender women are the most victimized by hate violence, and least likely to turn to law officials for help due to fears of discrimination from the police force.  Harassment by police officers is experienced by around forty percent of black transgender people, which would explain why those who are victims of hate violence often do not seek help from those who are there to protect their lives and safety- the police.

More information regarding hate violence and police harassment among black LGBTQ+ people can be found at the following website:

Being African American & LGBTQ: An Introduction

Workout

Two sets of three 32 rep exercises

  • 1.3 minute (1 minute 18 seconds) at 50% speed
  • 1.3 minute (1 minute 18 seconds) at 80-90% speed
  • Repeat until 1.3 miles of distance is covered

Day 3: Core workout

In the city of Atlanta, a young, Black gay man now has a 60 percent chance of becoming HIV-positive by the age of 30 even though Black gay and bisexual men are more likely to engage in safer sex practices than their white counterparts.
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HIV is a disease that is most common among the LGBTQ+ and black communities. Additionally, most cases of HIV occur among younger adults, between the ages of 25 and 34. In 2018, 86 percent of people living with HIV were male, and 69 percent were gay or bisexual men.  Also, the number of cases of HIV among black gay and bisexual men were significantly greater than the number of cases among white gay or bisexual men.  In fact, although black people are roughly 12 or 13 percent of the US population, in 2018, black people were 42 percent of those infected by HIV.

These disparities in HIV cases do not have to do with skin color, as it may seem.  It is not as though HIV searches for black LGBTQ+ people to infect.  Although, the differences in prevalence of HIV amongst racial groups in the LGBTQ+ community can be tied to socioeconomic disadvantages of the black community in regards to health care access and education about the disease.

In addition to socioeconomic barriers to education and sufficienient health care, there is a particular stigma around HIV that prevents many people from getting tested to find out whether or not they are infected- they simply do not want to have it, or admit that they do.  One in seven black people are infected with HIV and do not get tested for various reasons, this stigma being a main one.  Without getting tested, they cannot be treated, and so the cases of HIV among black members of society are most likely underreported. Without education, the repercussions of not knowing one’s status regarding HIV go unknown.  And with discriminatory or implicitly biased health care systems, the stigma around the virus in the black community grows and hinders the testing process even more.  Until black people, black LGBTQ+ people, can feel comfortable and supported in getting tested and helped with HIV treatment, these statistics will remain stagnant, or sadly rise, over time.

For more information regarding HIV disparities among differing racial and sexual orientations, visit the following websites where the information above was found: 

HIV and African Americans | Race/Ethnicity | HIV by Group | HIV/AIDS

Being African American & LGBTQ: An Introduction

US Statistics

Workout

6 rounds

  • 60 sec plank
  • 10 crunches
  • 60 sec flutter kicks
  • 10 crunches
  • 60 sec bicycles

Day 4: 35 minute cardio

The average life expectancy of a Black trans woman in America is 35 years old.
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Imagine being told that your life expectancy is less than half that of the average life expectancy of the nation.  

Most white cisgender people are expected to live until the age of 78. Black trans women are expected to live until the age of 35.

Most people at 35 years old are finally settling into their profession, in a job they might keep for the rest of their life until the time they decide to retire.  People are expanding their own families- having children, getting married, buying their first home and finding their niche in their community.  It is one thing to worry about death at the age of 35 because you have chosen a more life threatening profession, such as military work or gang affiliations.  Although, if you are choosing to embrace your desired identity as a trans woman, that is not a life choice that comes with a possibility of death. 

In 2019, at least ten transgender women were found murdered, and the majority of them were black.  Of course, this number is underreported as the women who passed might have been misgendered, their cases dropped, or their bodies were not recovered.  

Imagine your life being robbed due to the color of your skin and your identity- two characteristics that everyone has.  Imagine wondering if you will have a family of your own due to the fear of losing your life because of your identity and skin color.

The information found above and more regarding black transgender life expectancy can be found on the following websites:

Transgender Women Of Colour Have An Average Life Expectancy Of Just 35 Years

Black Trans Women Are Being Murdered at Alarming Rates 

FastStats – Life Expectancy

Workout

35 minute cardio with a 35 second sprint effort every 3.5 minutes


Day 5: 7 minute AMRAP

77% of Black and African American LGBTQ youth have heard family members say negative things about LGBTQ people.
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The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) conducted a landmark study in 2019 to better understand the experiences of a very underrepresented intersectional group of people: Black LGTBQ youth. The HCR surveyed 1,600 Black LGBTQ youth and found distressing results about the mental health and daily lives of these children. According to HCR’s findings, 77% Black LGBTQ youth have heard family members say negative statements about the LGBTQ community. Half of respondents were taunted or mocked by family members, and only 20% of surveyed youth reported being able to be themselves at home.

Obviously, these kinds of at home stressors take their toll on Black LGBTQ youth. A vast majority of respondents in HRC’s survey reported feelings of depression, helplessness, worthlessness, nervousness, and panic. Knowing that these youths are particularly vulnerable to acts of violence, discrimination and mental health emergencies, it is even more important than ever to support and listen to these members of the LGBTQ community.  

Sources for the above information and further learning:

Human Rights Campaign report finds nearly half of Black LGBTQ youth are ridiculed by family members

Black & African American LGBTQYOUTH REPORT

Black LGBTQ Youth At Heightened Risk for Discrimination

Workout

7 minute AMRAP:

  • 7 squat jumps
  • 7 burpees
  • 7 full sit ups


Day 6: 39 minute cardio

While 47% of LGBTQ youth overall reported receiving psychological or emotional counseling from a professional in the past year, only 39% of Black LGBTQ youth reported having done so. 
Learn More ▼

Medical institutions have had a long history of discrimination against both the Black and LGBTQ+ community. When these factors are combined, the number of negative outcomes multiplies. In February of 2020, the Trevor Project completed a study on how racism and homophobia impact the mental health of young people, especially in an increasingly digital age. It is an issue within itself that members of the Black LGBTQ+ community suffer from mental health problems at a significantly higher rate than those who are Non-black or do not consider themselves a part of the LGBTQ+ community. However, it is more concerning that members of the Black LGBTQ+ community often do not have the financial resources or healthcare access necessary in order to receive the counseling or therapy that they need. 

Even when members of the Black LGBTQ+ community are able to access counseling and therapy, the lack of diversity within the psychology workforce prevents treatment from reaching its maximum effectiveness.Typically, most forms of suicide prevention have a “one size fits all approach”, which often does not fulfill the needs of all individuals seeking help. The demographic of counselors and therapists tends to be white, with black counselors only making up 4% of the total field of work. It’s important to have a diversified psychology workforce that accurately represents the demographics of those looking for psychological counseling or therapy.

In a nation where discrimation and judgement has frequently been normalized, the intersection of the Black and LGBTQ identities often leads to higher risk of mental illness, and the fact that it is more difficult for these groups to receive access to care causes further issues. The slogan “Healthcare is a Human Right” has been widely used by Leftist groups, but it’s important that Mental healthcare, especially for at-risk groups, be included in this as well.

To learn more about mental health disparities, visit the following websites, where the above information was found:

Black LGBTQ youth, despite high levels of mental health issues, receive less professional care, study says

How diverse is the psychology workforce?

Workout

39 minutes of sport specific training or general cardio


Day 7: Lower body workout

Black transgender people had an extremely high unemployment rate at 26 percent, two times the rate of the overall transgender sample and four times the rate of the general population.
Learn More ▼

Black transgender people have been subjected to countless forms of injustice, which includes workplace discrimination. It was discovered by the National LGBTQ Task Force that Black trans people have an unemployment rate of 26%. This number is even higher for Black trans women, who are considered to be the most highly discriminated group in America. The multi-layered effects of poverty, class, and racial discrimination make it extremely difficult for Black transgender individuals to achieve equality in the workforce. 

More than one in four transgender people have lost a job due to bias, and more than 75% have suffered from some form of workplace discrimination. These numbers are even higher when looking specifically at black transgender people. In fact, until recently, about half of the states in the US have not adopted any strict policies which prohibit this sort of discrimination. This means that thousands of transgender people were not given equal protection under the law, and when combined with the effects of implicit and direct racial bias, it makes it extremely difficult to be a trans black person in America.

One woman, Aimee Stephens, was fired from the funeral home she works for after coming out to her boss as a trans woman in 2019. This case reached the Supreme Court in June of 2020, though Stephens died earlier this year. In a landmark ruling, the Court decided that the LGBTQ+ community is protected against workplace discrimination under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibited workplace discrimination on the basis of race, religion, national identity, or sex. This case set the standard that sexual orientation and gender identity are also protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.  There are still layers of LGBTQ+ discrimination embedded in society, however this case gives hope for a more equitable future.

Visit the following websites, where the above information was found, to learn more about workplace discrimation against the black and transgender communities:

Employment | National Center for Transgender Equality

New analysis shows startling levels of discrimination against Black transgender people

Supreme Court Delivers Major Victory To LGBTQ Employees

Workout

2 sets of 6 26 rep exercises

  • 26 squats
  • 26 side lunges right
  • 26 side lunges left
  • 26 calf raises
  • 26 squat jumps
  • 26 reverse lunges with knee lift (alternating)

Categories
Workouts

Week 4: Women in Sports


Day 1: 6×4 minute AMRAP

In the United States, only 1% of almost 400,000 swimmers registered with USA Swimming are African-American, according to the USA Swimming Foundation. A swimmer is 60 times more likely to be white than black.​
Learn More ▼

If a random citizen were to walk into the pool area of a swim meet, they would see an extreme representation of the white community among the swimmers, coaches and parents.  Even watching the Olympics on TV, viewers will see a drastic amount of white athletes and spectators, with the occasional colored participant.

In the sport of swimming, black representation is slim to none. Black swimmers rarely have a professional athlete to look up to, as they might in predominantly black sports.  Simone Manuel and Cullen Jones are two of the few professional swimmers around for black swimmers in the United States to look up to.  

According to USA Swimming registration statistics, only 1% of 400,000 competitive swimmers are black within the United States.  There are various reasons for this racial disparity.

There is an idea around the sport of swimming, as with any other sports, that it is a white person’s sport.  This mentality is common among both the white and black communities. There is an unspoken expectation that black people should not know how to swim, or do not need to know how to swim, amongst many communities.  That stigma deters black people from becoming involved in swimming, because there is an expectation in place that they do not belong.  

Another deterrence from the sport of swimming is the need for a pool to be involved.  A pool involves a membership, and a membership to a pool is usually more expensive than it might be to buy a basketball and a pair of sneakers, or a pair of cleats, or spikes for running.  If the average household income of a black family is significantly lower than the white community, there is a lesser ability to pay for sports that require memberships and registrations for sports like swimming. 

With countless years in which the black community has not been involved in swimming, there has not been a sufficient amount of education around the importance and use of the sport that would help promote more involvement.  The issue is circular, therefore, because as long as there are so few black people involved in swimming, the education about the sport will be limited, and the involvement will be limited.  So, as with many issues, without education, there can be no positive change.    

The information outlined above, along with more detailed explanations, can be found in the following websites:

Where Are All the Black Swimmers?

Challenging the Myth that ‘Blacks Can’t Swim’

Here’s Which Youth Sports Cost the Most

Examining the Black-White Wealth Gap

Workout

6×4 minute AMRAP

  • 10 tricep pushups
  • 10 streamline pike ups
  • 10 sumo breaststroke squats


Day 2: 29 minute cardio

The early entry rate for black girls in sports (ages 6 and below) is 29%, compared to a rate of 53% among white girls.
Learn More ▼

Exposure to sports at a young age opens up countless opportunities for young athletes. Unfortunately when it comes to early involvement among young girls, the entry rate for black girls is 29%, compared to 53% for white girls. This is disappointing because of the enormous potential of African American girls in the athletic community- according to the National Women’s Law Center, African American girls express the highest interest in leadership opportunities out of any racial group. This can be attributed to factors such as discrimination, lack of representation, and various socioeconomic factors. There’s already a lack of representation of Black girls in sports such as lacrosse, swimming, field hockey, and softball, and the low entry rate is yet another barrier for the female African American community to overcome. 

Black girls and women in sports also face a number of biases and stereotypes unique to this community, including the idea that black girls are only useful for their speed, rather than their skill. In soccer, black players are often never asked what position they would like to play, and are instead placed at forward by default- coaches make the assumption that their black players are designed for the position requiring the most sprinting. Crystal Dunn, a black defender on the USWNT, says that she has always been commended for her athletic abilities, but never for being the intelligent, versatile player with vision that she is. Additionally, many black female athletes have reported struggling with being told that they are too angry, too emotional, or aggressive, a stereotype that already exists regarding all women, but the effects are amplified when looking at black women in particular. This type of bias against black female athletes starts at a young age, and likely plays a role in keeping black girls out of sports that they have the potential to excel in. 

To learn more about exposure to sports among young girls, visit the following websites, where the information was found: 

The Women’s Sports Foundation Report Brief: 

UNLOCKING OPPORTUNITY FOR AFRICAN AMERICAN GIRLS

The struggle is real: The unrelenting weight of being a black, female athlete

Workout

29 minute cardio workout

Ideas: running, swimming biking, rowing


Day 3: HIIT workout

Although women make up approximately 40% of all athletes, they receive just 4% of sports coverage.
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Despite the growing number of female athletes and women’s sporting events being held around the world, media coverage of women’s sports is incredibly low. In 2013, Cheryl Cooky, an associate professor at Purdue University, conducted research showing that media coverage of women’s sports has actually decreased over the past 20 years. According to the Women’s Sports Foundation in 2019, girls drop out of sports at twice the rate of boys, often because they do not see female athletes being given the media coverage they deserve. The media’s lack of quality coverage of female athletes is just another example of the American societal idea that generally speaking, women are inferior than their male counterparts. 

The lack of media coverage of female sports is blatantly obvious when looking at the University of Minnesota women’s hockey team, and their inspiring 2012-2013 season. The Gophers, as they are known, won every game in their conference, achieving what many teams can only dream of accomplishing. But when it came time for the final games of their perfect season, the team and many of their fans were disappointed to find out that the games were not televised. Media coverage on women’s sports is mostly evident during the Olympics, and in “feminine” sports such as gymnastics and ice skating.

 Even when female athletes receive media coverage, it often overexualizes them rather than focusing on their athletic achievement. Female athletes, when compared with their male counterparts, are much more likely to be covered off the court and out of their uniforms. Many female athletes who excel at their sport often find their sexuality and femininity questioned, leading them to choose to pose in these hypersexualized shots. In a documentary titled “Media Coverage & Female Athletes”, Cheryl Cooky stated, “If I’m [a female athlete] conforming to this image, no one’s going to question my femininity, and therefore no one’s going to question my sexual orientation or my sexual identity.”

So what message does the current media representation (or lack thereof) of women in sports send to young female athletes? It tells them that they should pick another activity, that sports are for boys. It tells them that if they choose to play a sport, their image and how they are portrayed to the world will no longer be their choice alone. Their achievements will be diminished and their successes will be forgotten.

An Adidas global initiative called She Breaks Barriers seeks to remedy this issue. This campaign aims to “provide better access to sports for women and girls, remove gender stereotypes, and create greater visibility for female athletes at all levels.” By dismantling phrases like “don’t throw like a girl!” and ensuring that Adidas has equal gender representation across all social media channels, She Break Barriers is working to give young female athletes the visibility they need to succeed in their sport and learn how powerful they truly are. 

To learn more about media coverage of women’s sports, utilize the sources listed below, where the information above was found:

Lack of media coverage for women’s sports 

Female Athletes Receive Only 4% of Sports Media Coverage—Adidas Wants to Change That 

Media Coverage and Female Athletes | Media Coverage & Female Athletes 

Women in Sports — Issue on Pay Gap, Media Coverage and Women Representation in Sports 

Workout

4 exercises, 40 reps each

  • 40 burpees
  • 40 pushups
  • 40 jump squats
  • 40 crunches

Day 4: 17.5 minute core

Female athletes of color only receive 17.5% of female athletic opportunities despite representing more than a quarter of the population of female athletes.
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Female athletes already receive a significantly lesser amount of attention and finances than their male counterparts in the United States.  Within the gender, though, black women receive fewer opportunities than white women in athletics.  Specifically, black women receive 17.5% of athletic opportunities, while white women receive 75%. When the black female student population is 26.2%, and the white is 68.5%, the opportunities very obviously favor the white female students.

Studies have shown an extensive list of positive effects on people’s health, both mentally and physically, with involvement in athletics.  Women who are involved in sports are less prone to heart disease, breast cancer, diabetes, anxiety, and more health related issues.  Also, women involved in sports have shown to have greater success in academics and job application processes.  Women who were involved in sports in college usually have a higher graduation rate than those who weren’t.

Now, if access to said sports, which are supposed to have so many positive aspects and outcomes associated with them, is limited due to the color of one’s skin- an uncontrollable, the advantages of the sports are lost to those who cannot access them.  So, as a result, black women experience more health issues that might have been prevented with their involvement in athletics. 

More information regarding female access to athletics can be found at the following website:

THE FOUNDATION POSITION

Workout

17.5 minute core, 5 sets of the following:

  • 30 seconds front plank
  • 30 seconds left plank
  • 30 seconds right plank
  • 30 seconds crunches
  • 30 seconds V ups
  • 1 minute rest

Day 5: Lower Body and Abs

African American female athletes are heavily concentrated in a limited number of sports, with close to 68% participating in two sports: basketball & track and field, compared to only 28% of white females participating in these same sports.
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Black athletes seem to be concentrated in a select few sports, with some outliers on predominantly white athletic teams.  For men, the predominantly black sports are football and basketball.  For women, most black athletes participate in either basketball or track and field. In each of those sports, the white members of the teams are the minority.  However, there are so many more sports in the United States alone in which white athletes are the majority.  

At Penn State, there are 15 male and 14 female Division 1 level athletic teams.  Of those 15 male teams, there are two predominantly black male teams- football and basketball.  That is roughly 13 percent of the men’s teams in which the majority of the members are black.  On the women’s side at Penn State, there 2 out of 14 teams that are predominantly black, or about 14 percent.  Overall, the predominantly black teams at Penn State are about 14 percent of the athletic teams on campus.  There are teams at Penn State where there is only one black athlete on the whole team.  This is not unique to Penn State either.  

If those percentages were extended to the professional level of sports, the percentages would most likely be similar. Of the NFL players, roughly 70 percent are black.  Black NBA players comprise around 75 to 80 percent of the athletes in the NBA.  Around 69 percent of WNBA players are black.  Comparatively, the owners of professional athletic teams, and the coaches, are predominantly white.  

This power dynamic hinders the financial freedom of professional athletes to speak their minds on topics that involve their own safety and community. Around 75 percent of NFL coaches are white.  Although there are white allies throughout the nation, and some coaches are in fact allies, there are other coaches who hinder their black players’ abilities to speak or act on their beliefs regarding their community’s struggles as mistreated citizens of the United States, and threaten players’ job securities.  This issue was seen with Colin Kaepernick, although it occurs behind the scenes when outsiders cannot see. 

Until this power dynamic, and control over black players’ abilities to speak their minds is lifted, the predominantly black sports will not have access to the amount of powerful positive change and education they can provide to their communities- their ideas will continue to be suppressed. Predominantly black sports, without the suppression, would have the ability to further encourage involvement in athletics to their community, which might help increase the percentages of black athletes involved in predominantly white sports, and allow for a more diverse and accepting athletic nation.

The information above, and more, can be found at the following websites:

THE FOUNDATION POSITION

Dealing with racism and pain two constants for African-American NFL players

Racial breakdown in the NBA

WNBA scores high on Racial and Gender Report Card

Workout

6 minute choice abs: alternate every 28 seconds

Then: 8 minute choice squats: alternate every 28 seconds


Day 6: Sprint Workout

Less than 10% of all sports news anchors, commentators, and editors are female. Not until 2017 did a woman announce a men’s March Madness or Monday Night Football game.
Learn More ▼

Though interest in women’s sports has certainly grown since Title IX, less than 10% of sports editors, commentators, and anchors are female. In fact, it took until 2017 for a woman to announce a March Madness game or a Monday Night Football game. The lack of representation within sports coverage, especially in women’s sports, has been linked to the oversexualization of female athletes, particularly women of color. One study notes that less focus was given to the athletes’ physical ability on the field, focusing on their emotions instead. 

According to reporter Lesley Visser, in NFL AFC and NFC championship games, there’s typically about 2000 credentials in the press box, and usually about three of those are female. This number has hardly changed since the 1980s. Lesley Visser also recalls her experiences as a young sports reporter, even saying that many of her early media credentials told her “No women or children allowed in the press box.” Since she wasn’t allowed to enter, Visser would wait in the parking lot to interview players. This was obviously extremely humiliating, and said that she was once mistaken for a fan by QB Terry Bradshaw, who took her reporting notepad and signed his autograph. 

Having equal representation in sports reporting will allow for more equitable coverage and diversified stories within the sporting community. It will require more pioneers like Visser to confront the issue and strive for the creation of more opportunities for female reporters. 

The information listed above can be found by visiting the following sources: 

Female sports journalists still face rampant sexism on the job

Reflections on Communication and Sport: On Women and Femininities – Toni Bruce, 2013

TV pioneer Lesley Visser combines grace, style and humor

Workout

10 sets 100m sprint


Day 7: 900 second (15 minute) HIIT

Though US Soccer continues to pay female athletes less than their male counterparts, from 2016 to 2018, women’s games generated about $50.8 million in revenue compared to 49.9 million in revenue for the men, a difference of 900k.
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The difference in pay between the US men’s and women’s soccer teams has placed US soccer in the middle of an ongoing lawsuit debating the circumstances surrounding unequal compensation. The US Soccer Federation claims that the pay differential is “based on differences in aggregate revenue generated by the different teams and/or any other factor other than sex” and that the two teams are “physically and functionally separate organizations.”In this statement, the federation admits that there is a difference in pay, however fails to recognize that the US Women’s National team actually brings in higher revenue than their male counterparts. From 2016 to 2018, womens’ soccer games generated about $50.8 million in revenue compared to $49.9 million for the men, according to US soccer financial documents. The women brought in about $900,000 more than the men over the examined time span. 

The salaries of the players can be difficult to compare, as the collective bargaining agreements are structured very differently. Women are guaranteed a base salary, whereas the mens’ salaries fluctuate based on minutes played and minutes on the bench. Despite the differences in contract structure, if both teams win all 20 of their yearly friendlies, women’s team players would earn a max of $99,000 ($4,950 per game), while men’s team players would earn $263,320 ($13,166 per game). It would be a stretch, though, for the men’s team to reach this level of performance, as they failed to even qualify for the last World Cup while the women have successfully won the last two consecutive World Cups. For the US women to even approach the salaries of the men’s team members under the current collective bargaining agreement, they must continue their trend of world class performance. 

The mens’ team has issued a statement in support of the womens’ team’s lawsuit against US Soccer. Players have called for a revenue sharing model that guarantees equal pay, where salaries remain the same regardless of gender, even if one team is bringing in more revenue than the other.  With such overwhelming support in favor of equal pay, there is hope for a more equitable future. 

More information on this topic can be found at the following websites, where the information above was found:

Analysis | Are U.S. women’s soccer players really earning less than men?

US women’s soccer games now generate more revenue than men’s

US Women’s Soccer Games Outearned Men’s Games

Workout

900 second (15 minute) HIIT workout: 3 sets of the following

  • 1 minute mountain climbers
  • 1 minute skaters
  • 30 seconds high knees
  • 30 seconds squat jumps
  • 30 seconds right side lunges
  • 30 seconds left side lunges
  • 1 minute rest

Categories
Stories

Emma Shields

My name is Emma Shields. I live in Troy, New York, but I’m originally from Germany and I go to Emma Willard School. I play basketball for my High School, the City Rocks for AAU, and I play for the German National U16 team. I am biracial- my mother is black (Ghanaian and German) and my dad is white. 

Last year, a white teammate of mine used the n-word singing along to a song before practice. This was not the first time I saw this girl do that. She had posted a video on her snapchat story singing it in a car. When I saw the video, I was shocked. I would have never expected her to do that. The video had made me extremely disappointed in her and uncomfortable, so when it happened the next week at practice, one would think I wouldn’t have been as shocked, but I was even more appalled because I had also considered her a friend. The most upsetting part for me was that when it happened, the only other person who even noticed was my only other black teammates. Everyone else continued to sing the song without acknowledging what had happened. My heart felt as if it had dropped to my stomach. I felt so uneasy and disrespected. I have never looked at her the same and lost all respect for her.

Her using the word, even if it wasn’t used in a derogatory way in the song, became derogatory when it came out of her mouth. The blatant racism and ignorance expressed by her was one of many that black people have to experience when surrounded by ignorant and uneducated people who do not see the wrong in what they are doing. This also shows the problems that can occur when being the only black person or one of the few on a sports team consisting of mostly white athletes. We have to continue calling out acts of racism and educating people on the history of the n-word to make a change and allow for everyone to feel comfortable and accepted in sports.

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Moe Robinson

My name is Micaela Robinson, and I’m from Latham, NY. I play soccer and will continue playing at Assumption University in the fall. I am biracial- my mother is white and my father is black. My dad’s family is from Barbados, they were originally slaves owned by Benedict Cumberbatch’s ancestors. My family was offered reparations from Benedict Cumberbatch, but the slaves in Barbados gained freedom differently than in America. They pushed out the colonizers, and were able to keep the land they worked, including all that was on the land. Currently, the plantation my family worked on is a sort of museum, I have yet to visit, but plan to soon.  

Although I am biracial, I have been told I can pass for white, which gives me a significant privilege over those with darker complexions than me. It’s odd for me because most of the experiences I’ve personally had with race are not what the typical black or biracial person would endure; however, my immediate family has had drastically different experiences. I feel incredibly bad for my brother and father, along with others in the community, because I am one of them, but will never face the same struggles that they face. One of my friends describes this as “light skin guilt.” I feel guilty because even though I would consider myself part of the community, I will never experience the pain and injustice they go through daily. The racism I experience is different from what darker-skinned people experience. People will either forget, or won’t know that I am a person of color. They say things around me that they would normally say around their other white friends, not realizing that I may take offense to those words and phrases, such as the casual use of the n-word. Most of my friends would describe me as extremely politically correct, which really bothers me. I do try and correct people but it usually doesn’t stop them from saying those words. With the events currently going on, I hope some of the people who are participating in these microaggressions may come to the realization that this is wrong, and start to change their ways.

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Antoinette Bradley

Antoinette Bradley
Penn State Track and Field, 19 years old
@itssssant

A teammate of mine made a racist post on Instagram. 

The post was extremely insensitive and disrespectful to black women, but when it was brought to our team’s attention, we had a team meeting with an empty apology from the person who posted it. 

Ever since that team meeting, I have felt uncomfortable around that person and I have viewed them completely differently. 

I am disappointed that no further actions were taken. 

How can we say “We Are”, but turn around and give racist people a slap on the wrist for their actions, who act completely against the history of the saying?

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Sincere Rhea

Hello everyone, my name is Sincere Rhea. 

I am a rising sophomore track and field student-athlete. However, before any of that I am a black and latino young man. 

A police officer or anyone else doesn’t see me as a student-athlete, they see another “thug” or someone who needs to “go back home”. But why don’t they see a future doctor or future broadcaster? 

I’ve been racially profiled all my life, even getting to college. The burden of having someone follow you around the store because they are worried you might steal something is a frequent experience of mine. 

Now, racial profiling or racism may not ever end. However, we can stand unified and strong as one nation under God.

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Victoria Rollins


My name is Victoria. I go to Guilderland High School, and I play soccer for the Albany Alleycats soccer club. My teammates and coaches call me Tor. I am biracial. My mother is white, and both of her parents are American, of German and Polish descent. My father is black, his parents and grandparents were also born in America.

When I was little, I didn’t think much about my skin color. I knew I was biracial, but it wasn’t my primary focus. Now that I am older, I am fully aware of what I look like and how that might affect my life. When a person who does not know me tries to identify my race, they usually assume that I am only black. When I explain to them that I am biracial, they are shocked to find out that I am also white. 

As a person of color, I’ve had experiences that disturb me to this day. For example,when I started high school, I had just switched schools and didn’t know anyone. On the way to class, another person of color and I were stopped by someone we didn’t know. He aggressively yelled that we “should be thankful to be in America and that we should respect what this country has done for our kind of people and the opportunities it’s given us”. It bothers me that there are people who truly believe that people of color should be thankful for “what America has done for them”. 

It’s the black community’s resilience and persistence that should earn them equal opportunity and respect. We have contributed to many achievements that helped build America. Contributions to society by the black community are only recognized as important because of the extra mile black people have had to go in order to prove their worth.

On multiple occasions, I’ve had to educate people that certain words, phrases, or stereotypes are unacceptable to say to or about a person of color. I shouldn’t have to explain, but unfortunately, some people do not understand why these phrases are wrong.

I used to be really good friends with someone who happened to be white. We were just casually talking when he referred to someone he was talking about as the n-word. I didn’t know what to think. This was a person who I had known for a long time, and I never thought he would use that word. I politely told him that what he said was not okay, and that this particular word has a negative connotation and a long, painful history. What further annoyed me was that he tried to justify using that word by saying that he was given a “pass” by other friends.

I don’t say that word because I think it’s wrong. I told this individual that If he continued to use this word, we could no longer be friends, as it is offensive to me and many people in the black community. Sadly, we are no longer friends.

It’s heartbreaking to see that we live in a world where racism still exists. To see people being treated poorly because of the color of their skin is appalling. It goes to show that a lot more needs to be done to fix the injustices that we continue to see in this day and age. Non-black people need to be held accountable for their actions and recognize that their privilege often exists at the expense of black people. It’s infuriating to watch people only receive a slap on the wrist when they deliberately dehumanize and kill black people on the basis of race. 

Black lives are put at risk because of the social prejudices that prevent black people from living life as freely as someone who is white. Skin color does not determine someone’s worth, and it does not dictate the treatment that they should receive. To grow, people have to open up their eyes to the brutality and mistreatment that the black community endures every day and how much damage it has caused. You have to learn to unlearn. It’s important to listen to those who have been affected, have difficult conversations, and collectively come together to figure out what steps need to be taken to eliminate racial injustices. People need to learn how their actions are affecting others and that as a society, we need to evolve.

Instead of dividing people over their racial differences, we should learn to love people for who they are. We should be celebrating the different shades that people come in, not fearing it. It’s important to teach that diversity is not something to be ashamed of and it can expand our worldview for the better.