Higher education is not the root of all equity gaps. But it can be a vehicle to reduce those gaps.

Historically, it has not been. equity gaps among students based on their race, ethnicity and income persist and thrive in most institutions.

For black students, simply enter higher education remains difficult, especially in four-year colleges. In some institutions, including logo and public research universities, access for black students it has worsened in recent years.

Until there is real progress made on this issue, among others, the so-called top leaders of ED for diversity and inclusion, public statements on racism in society, and decisions to change names buildings or statues remove racist legacies continue to sound hollow.

One of the first steps to close these gaps is beginning to realize where and why.

Bad odds Birth

"As soon as you start to measure differences in outcomes for white and Black children, differences would be found, he would be empty," said Emma Garcia, economist at the Economic Policy Institute.

These "opportunity gaps" can be found on any non-white comparison, non-Asian American student with their white or Asian-American peers, Garcia said. They can also be found when comparing different socioeconomic classes.

Many of these gaps are driven by poverty, he said. And before a Black child is even born, the odds are against them.

For example, maternal mortality rates vary greatly by race. Blacks, American Indians and Alaska Native women are two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women. These statistics reflect a "failure of the system," he said, noting the lack of a political response to these gaps

"We have a racial caste system in the United States," said Leila Morsy, an academic driving teaching and learning at the School of Medicine and Public Health at Flinders University in Australia.

Because of this structure, black children are much more likely to encounter adverse childhood experiences, also known as ACE. Research has shown that adults with several ACE are more prone to mental and physical health of the face later in life than their peers with less or no ACE.

These experiences include any experience of terror or threatening, such as the loss of a home to a fire, the loss of a parent, witnessed violence or have a parent who is incarcerated, Morsy said.

If children have an adult with them who has the time and energy to explain the experiences and helps the child make sense of them, they are more likely to have mechanisms healthy coping to deal with toxic stress .

in response to stress, the body will produce hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, which affect almost every organ and tissue in the body and trigger the fight or flight response. Hormones increase blood pressure and heart rate, blood vessels dilate, and also limit the parts of the brain that control memory and decision making.

If adverse childhood experiences are frequent or sustained for long periods of time, then the physiology of the child can not return to normal, Morsy said.

"This is a physiological response in your body where they become more prone to certain health and behavioral morbidity," Morsy said. The result can be stunted growth of the brain, decreased activity in the prefrontal cortex disrupts the metabolism and blood pressure, and immune system compromised.

People with ACE are more prone to viral infections, more likely to suffer respiratory infections and more likely to become pregnant in adolescence.

Research has shown that low-income black children were more likely to have more adverse experiences than their white and richer fellow kindergarten.

racial discrimination and segregation in housing are two factors that bake in the chances that black children will experience ACE from the beginning. say ah

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