As someone who spent several years as an educator of students of color, most of whom were from families that lived in poverty, I have certainly seen firsthand the connection between poverty, educational opportunity, and incarceration. Most pressingly, I've also seen the connection between intergenerational trauma (discussed in the last video) and these factors, as well. I remember vividly that, during my second year of teaching, I had a student who openly told me that he was involved in the sale of heroin. He told me that he primarily sold to white drug addicts and that, despite his acknowledgment that there were some safety issues involved in his role, it was worth it because of the money. He was a 15 year old student, who should have not had to need for so much that he had to make a risk-benefit analysis of selling drugs. But he did because he lived in one of the most poverty-striken neighborhoods in all of Philadelphia. Unfortunately, due to unrelated circumstances, he was the victim of gun violence and passed away at 16 years old. All of his opportunities, educational and otherwise, were changed by his relationship to poverty.
While the concept of red lining in terms of housing was not newly introduced to me in this module, it did cause me to more deeply consider the relationship between housing and these other outcomes. As my family is currently going through the process of selling our current home and purchasing a new one, I wonder how many privileges we've been the beneficiaries of that have allowed this process to run fairly smoothly. If we had been POC, would our experiences have been different? What has our privilege afforded us?