CTCORE Board member, Arvia Walker, is fierce advocate and leader for racial justice in the state of Connecticut. As a Public Policy and Strategic Engagement Specialist for Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, Arvia has been championing Fair Treatment for Incarcerated Women. This includes:
- Fighting for a requirement “that at least one licensed departmental or contracted health care provider who is employed at the York Correctional Institution (1) has been trained in prenatal and postpartum medical care, and (2) has knowledge of and the ability to educate any inmate who is pregnant concerning prenatal nutrition, high-risk pregnancy, and addiction and substance abuse during pregnancy and childbirth.”
- And limiting the “use any leg or waist restraint on any inmate of the institution who has been determined to be pregnant or in the postpartum period by a licensed health care provider.”
Connecticut is arguably the most racially inequitable state in the nation. We have some of the highest, if not the highest, systemic racial disparities in the country – including wealth gap, education opportunity gap, and disproportionate rates of incarceration.
In May of 2015, Governor Malloy called a policy that disproportionately incarcerates Black and Latinx residents in the cities, and for longer sentences (for the same behavior), than their White, suburban counterparts “…if not racist in intent…racist in its outcome.”.
Republican lawmakers were more outraged by the use of the r-word than by the unnecessary loss of years to incarceration and the challenges of putting one’s life back together afterwards – a reality for so many CT residents of color.
They made it about themselves. They shut down the General Assembly in protest.
The message that the majority of CT legislators send to residents of color is that they either don’t understand their role, as lawmakers, in creating and maintaining inequity in this state or they just don’t care. So, it wasn’t surprising, to some, when State Senator John Fonfara (D-Hartford) looked at Arvia’s “Stand With Black Women” pin, dismissed the movement for equity the pin stands for as “propaganda”.
He made it about himself. He tried to equate the struggle for racial and gender equity with the plight of White men (who, as a group, suffer almost no negative systemic disparities in this state).
This was not surprising, but it is unacceptable! When Ernie Hewett, a Black, former state representative insulted a White student, he was almost immediately stripped of his deputy speakership.
Sen. Fonfara should face the same consequence - immediate stripping of his seat as co-chair of the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee.
CTCORE is heading to the Capitol this Thursday.
Stand with us.
CTCORE-Organize Now! 2018 Advocacy Day
CT State Capitol (210 Capitol Ave, Hartford, CT)
Thursday, April 19th
9:30a-3p in the Old Judiciary Room