children of color minorities in positions of power

The Power of Having Power

Posted on Posted in Blog, Color Me Educated

The Power of Having Power

Do you remember what it was like to be a teenager?  Besides thinking I was halfway grown, I remember the teenage feeling of frustration. Mostly because I was oftentimes mad about the fact that I was not allowed to go when I wanted to go, do what I wanted to do and hang out with whoever I wanted to hang out with as late as I possibly wanted.   My parents’ explanation for all of their imposed restrictions? ‘Our house, our rules’.  At the time I just could not wait until I had the power to call the shots.
When I read about such incidents like the grand jury’s decision not to indict the officer who shot and killed Mike Brown I am taken back to a teenage place of limited power.   Instead as an adult I feel there are policies and practices I have little to no say so in making or implementing. 
With 2015 approaching there are still not many places where the scales of power are equally balanced.  Most of the major decisions that impact me and my family (you know like wealth distribution, minimum wage and school zoning)  are made at what seems like nose bleed political and economic levels.  Unfortunately, for what seems like forever, there are few perspectives represented at these high levels that have had similar experiences like me, my family and many people who look like me.  In fact,
Congress today is:
  • 8% Black: a total of 43 (13% of U.S population)
  • 6% Latino: a total of 32 (17% of U.S. population)
  • 5.6% Asian: a total of 30 (5% of U.S. population)
  • 18.9%  women: a total of 101
  • 80% White and male
Percentage of Minority CEOS through early 2014:
  • 6 African American  (1.2% of all Fortune 500 companies)
  • 9 Latinos (1.8% of all Fortune 500 companies)
  •  10 Asian Americans  (2% of all Fortune 500 companies)
Percentage Minorities in Fortune 500 Board Seats 2012
  • 86.7%  White
  • 7.4% African American
  • 2.6% Asian/Pacific Islander
  • 3.3% Hispanic
The Richest 1% by Race
The closest I can get to impacting policies is either by voting or marching.  To be honest when voting I am usually making a choice between the lesser of two evils.  And marching only seems effective when it’s tied to some type of unified financial protest. So, since voting doesn’t happen every year and marching takes up a lot of time for a working mama with three kids and a husband what am I to do to feel as if I have power to impact true social justice? More importantly from where we now stand how will we be able to pass down the possession of power to our children?
Using historical hindsight we feel like the best bet for our kiddos to have access to power is to make sure they are prepared with a quality education that will lead to a college degree.  The outlook on education is not all that shiny either.  There’s still lots of progress to be made educationally.  As you can see from the data below on college degrees obtained from a 4-year public  institution in 2013: 
  • 8.8% Black
  • 9.9% Hispanic
  • 62.3% White
  • 6.4% Asian
  • .6%  American Indian or Alaska Native
If and when the time comes we would hope that our three will march and vote to help balance the social justice tide.  In the meantime we are placing our bets on education to provide a path that will offer them the opportunity or option to take the place of those in power so that they can one day have a chance to call the shots.


Do you think education will be the key to providing your kiddos with influential power in the future?



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