Across the Geographic Divide

Nearly 5 million people living in Appalachia are Black and Brown, but Appalachians have been reduced to stereotypes of white coal miners in the mainstream media. Attorney Loree Stark breaks down what’s really going on in Appalachia, including how systemic inequity, exploitation of the labor force, disability, housing instability, and predatory lending all intersect in this unique part of the country. Loree then shares how mutual aid groups and others in the community are building coalitions and sharing stories to make change. Guest: Loree Stark (@loreestark), is a Staff Attorney at the Human Rights Defense Center. Prior to joining HRDC, she worked for the American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia, Mountain State Justice, and the Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky.

Black Children’s Bodies Are Sanctuaries

Educators can legally hit students at school in 19 states, but school-based violence is forcing young people with marginalized identities out of school everywhere. Ashley Sawyer joins us to discuss the legacy of racial discrimination in education policy and systems of school-based violence. She lays out how the school-to-prison pipeline, pushout, sexual harassment, and corporal punishment force young people with marginalized identities out of school, and she calls attention to the demands of Black and Latina girls who are organizing to create safe, healing, and supportive schools. Finally, Ashley urges policymakers to make radical investments in young people, schools, families, and communities to address the root causes of violence and harm. Trigger Warning: Ashley shares graphic stories about what’s happening to young people in schools. This conversation also includes topics that may not be appropriate for young children. Guest: Ashley Sawyer (@ACSawyerJustice) is a Senior Staff Attorney on the Opportunity to Lead (Education) team at Advancement Project. Ashley’s life work is situated where education and the criminal justice system collide, and she has previously served at Girls for Gender Equity, Youth Represent, and the Education Law Center.

You Can’t Say Colorblind and Stop

Black families pay higher property taxes than white families each year, and these unfairly high bills are helping to force Black people out of cities. Montgomery Wilson breaks down in great detail how Black homeowners end up paying more than their white counterparts in property taxes and how tax assessments are systematically inaccurate in Black and low income communities. He also shares what cities can do to solve this massive injustice and keep people in their homes. After this interview, you’ll never hear the words property tax assessment the same way again. Guest: Montgomery Wilson is a senior attorney with CLS’s Consumer Housing Unit. His practice focuses largely on municipal tax foreclosure & mortgage foreclosure defense in both state and federal court. He has also worked extensively with local community organizations and the City of Philadelphia to aid Philadelphia homeowners faced with real estate tax lien foreclosures.