Home Womens boots After sudden hearing loss, an important conversation about race, disability and equity

After sudden hearing loss, an important conversation about race, disability and equity


Happy Friday.

My inbox is overflowing with notes from readers ranging from comments about resentment of white people at work – “That continues to be the biggest problem I face,” says a DEI practitioner – to conservative pressure to censor lists of reading and the program. But one note, in particular, brings us back to a subject close to many of you, which is black health.

Edda Collins Coleman is a policy, communications and government relations professional with extensive knowledge of inclusion work and an early subscriber of raceAhead. It’s part of my feeds. But I didn’t know until she emailed me that she had developed severe hearing loss immediately after the birth of her third daughter, Quinn. Coleman is black, and while she was rightly focused have a healthy birth outcomeshe did not see the handicap coming.

She wrote about her experience for the Washington Post:

“Doctors don’t know why people can lose their hearing during pregnancy or childbirth. Hormonal changes or high blood pressure can cause hearing problems, such as blocked ears or background ringing. But actual hearing loss during pregnancy is rare, and hearing loss during childbirth, like me, is so unusual that Frank Lin, professor of otolaryngology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of his Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health, said he had never met before…With a sense of grief, shock and deep sadness, I officially joined the more than 38 million Americans over 12 with hearing loss in both ears.

Disability is one of the few markers of identity that anyone can acquire at any time, but the relationship between disability and race is complex. Although becoming disabled is often unique to the individual, some people will suffer more than others.

According to this report from the National Disability Institute, about 14% of working-age African Americans live with a disability, compared to 11% of non-Hispanic whites and 8% of Latinx people. “This can be particularly difficult for people of color who already have lower education, income and employment outcomes, and who are also less likely to be fully banked and more likely to use services. financial predators,” writes a disability advocate. Donna Waltonauthor of Shattered dreams, shattered pieces, in the front.

Creating career paths for talent with disabilities has generally followed other diversity priorities, but a new embrace of hybrid workplaces and a growing focus on ESG metrics could change that.

Earlier this year, Disability:IN, the global organization dedicated to disability inclusion in business, launched the ‘CEOs are IN‘, which asks the leaders of large companies to adopt the Disability Equality Index, a tool for evaluating the practices of inclusion and equality of people with disabilities. (here are the top-rated companies.) Among the 124 CEO signatories are Corrie Barry of Best Buy, Marc Benioff of Salesforce, Roz Brewer of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Andy Cecere of US Bancorp and Brian Cornell of Target.

Coleman copes with the change and notes that she is in an unusual privileged position. She is established in her career and her excellent insurance covers most of the $6,000 cost of the hearing aids she now uses. “But for many older people Health Insurance, which does not cover them, the cost can be particularly expensive. Partly because of this, only about 28.5% of people in the United States who need hearing aids have them.

Removing barriers for people with disabilities through accommodations, workforce design or policy change is also everyone’s business, she says. “While it was cathartic to write, I more wish it created a conversation, raised awareness, helped change the way representation is centered, and increased accessibility in the workplace and in society,” Coleman writes on LinkedIn.

Speaking of black maternal health and possible poor outcomes, I mutilated a sentence in Serena Williams’ latest retirement newsletter that failed to paint the correct picture of the bad results Face of black women: non-Hispanic black women are 3.5 times more likely to die during pregnancy and postpartum than their non-Hispanic white counterparts, usually because of problems such as heart failure, blood pressure disorders and hemorrhages.

Since pregnancy is so much more dangerous to women’s health than abortion, the new restrictions will likely contribute to this grim statistic. You can find out more here. More news below.

I wish you a happy weekend.

Ellen McGirt
[email protected]

This edition of raceAhead was edited by Ashley Sylla.


A new poll finds a “staggering” number of people have been unable to access health care during the pandemic. The poll, conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the TH Chan School of Public Health, found that one in five households who suffered from a serious illness in the past year were unable to obtain appointment with a practitioner. The study also found significant delays in routine screenings, appointments for diabetes care and mental health care. The disparities were also severe: In households where someone was seriously ill, 35% of American Indian and Alaska Native and 24% of Black households had difficulty obtaining care, compared to only 18% of households. whites.

A reprieve for a library funded to have LGBTQ + books. Last week, primary voters rejected a proposal to use taxpayer money to fund the Patmos Library, which serves a small community in western Michigan. The library had been targeted by a small group of parents concerned about the LGBTQ+ titles offered by the library. The provision, approved by a two-thirds majority of voters, would eliminate 84% of the public library’s annual budget, or $245,000. This week, local residents, and probably a few concerned strangers, helped raise nearly $100,000 to keep the library open. Father of two, Jesse Dillman launched the fundraising online“I’m very passionate about it, and I have people behind me doing it,” he said in an interview with NBC News. “I think I have to do it now, because the iron is hot. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen now.
BNC News

This marathon season could prove to be more inclusive than when it started. Non-binary competitive runners have made inroads with race directors beginning to create categories in which athletes can compete without confusion and making facilities more inclusive. The New York Marathon created a non-binary split last year; this year, Chicago followed suit and more than 70 runners signed up. Affirmation races now include marathons in Miami, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Colorado Springs and Flagstaff, Arizona. Jake Fedorowski, along with other non-binary runners, posted a Instruction guide for race directors and maintains an audience spreadsheet of races now open to non-binary runners.
The 19

A new report reveals how a Cold War-era weapons program is putting communities in the southwest at risk. For four decades, communities, including many indigenous communities, have been exposed to unhealthy levels of radiation from long-lost uranium ore mining and refining efforts. This report, from NPR and ProPublica, outlines a widespread problem and no blame – some 50 former uranium mills, and about half have yet to be cleaned up or sealed. The charts, which include groups of cancer patients, are called “death maps”. “In a household near the stack, we found radon levels about twice as high as what the EPA says is an actual level you need to clean your home fairly immediately,” ProPublica’s Mark Olalde reports.

Farewell words

“I have to make sure my hands aren’t ash before I sign!”

Nakia Smitha black deaf content creator, about representation on TikTokand its nearly 400,000 subscribers.

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