Dehumanization is the process of depriving individuals of human qualities. When we fail to see each other's full humanity, we diminish our capacity for empathy which makes it easier to morally disengage. This disengagement leads to the normalizing of violence, poverty, and despair. Whether dehumanization is exacted on others or internalized, it hurts each of us, our families, communities, and cultures.
Fractured, Divided Communities
Many forces are at play that keep us divided from one another, resulting in social isolation and fragmentation: a painful racial history that continues to drive racial inequities; segregated schools and neighborhoods; people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds living side by side with little opportunity to cross divides; growing disconnect between institutions and communities; and a dominant culture favoring individualism and competition over relationships and trust.
Despite Montgomery County’s best intentions to create a welcoming and inclusive community, the unfortunate truth is that many people of color struggle to achieve a basic quality of life. A recent report from the Montgomery County Office of Legislative Oversight finds that 2017 poverty rates in the County are 4.0% for Whites, 11.2% for Blacks, 11.1% for Latinos and 5.8% for Asians.The report also highlights the significant racial and ethnic inequities that exist in the County in the areas of education, income, employment, home ownership, health, criminal justice, and mobility.
residents participated in racial equity learning spaces, building awareness and sparking actions to promote racial and economic equity and justice.
action circles with 195 residents carried out 23 projects focused on creating more equity and improved quality of life.
isolated residents were connected to valuable services, resources, and supportive networks.
residents attended worker cooperative learning sessions to build awareness and support for employee-owned enterprises.