Check out a snippet from the Capital & Main and The Guardian article we are featured in below:
Sitting in a Starbucks, Dumas has an infectious smile and, when she speaks, tends to hold four fingers of one hand in the palm of the other.Capital and Main/The Guardian
Not all of Dumas’ financial situation can be blamed on the shutdown. She works in an underpaid profession and has no financial cushion, which have causes that stretch back further. She tries to remedy the situation for herself and others with activism.
About a year and a half ago, she joined a group called Mothering Justice that is working to expand the rights and well-being of women and families, particularly women of color who are often “last in line” to get rights or help, as Dumas points out. She has marched. She has attended meetings.
Banks have regained profitability since the Great Recession, but Detroit has moved from being a majority homeowner city to being one that is majority renter.
“I go to all the events I can go to,” Dumas says. She has gone to Michigan’s capital, Lansing, to talk to lawmakers about Mothering Justice’s support for child care funding and for a ballot initiative to require paid sick time to help low-income families like the ones she serves. (The Republican legislature avoided a vote on that initiative by adopting the measure last year and then weakening it.)
What’s difficult, Dumas says to me later on the phone, is not blaming herself for her situation: “People really make you feel bad for asking for help—or for needing help.” Like most child care workers, she relies on public assistance.
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This self-blame is what Danielle Atkinson, Mothering Justice’s founding director, calls the “internalized racism” that her organization seeks to combat, alongside “systemic racism” in the form of, for example, redlining and a racially discriminatory criminal justice system.
Add in the lingering effects of the housing crisis: The banks have regained profitability, but many low income borrowers have not been made whole. These include Dumas’ mother, who saw her home “stripped away” during the Great Recession, according to Dumas.
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