The Justice Indicators Syllabus

The Justice Indicators Syllabus

The Equality Indicators

The Tulsa Equality Indicators is an annual report that provides “a statistical baseline for understanding inequality in our city.” In the summer of 2019, as a result of community pressure, the Tulsa City Council held a series of special meetings on the justice indicators, examining the data below. I was invited to speak at the final meeting, on racial and gender disparities in adult arrests. Read my remarks and watch videos of all the public comments and special meetings on the Tulsa Star.

Justice Indicators

  • Race & Youth Arrests: “Black juveniles (21.9) are over three times as likely to be arrested as White juveniles (6.6).”
  • Race & Adult Arrests: “Blacks (73.0) are arrested over twice as often as Whites (35.8), with the rate of arrests for Native Americans closely following.”
  • Gender & Arrests: “Oklahoma traditionally leads the nation in arrest rates. That fact is extraordinarily evident in the Tulsa female arrest rate (26.5) compared to the national female arrest rate (15.4).”
  • Race & Officer Use of force: “When calculated using population as the denominator, Blacks are three times as likely as both Whites and Hispanic/Latinx to experience officer use of force. When calculated using arrests as the denominator, Hispanic/Latinx become the most disadvantaged group, at a rate 2½ times that of Blacks and 3½ times that of Whites; using this methodology, Blacks are 50% more likely to experience use of force as Whites in Tulsa.”
  • Race & Tulsa Police Department Employees: “Hispanic/Latinx (0.2) have the lowest amount of representation at the Tulsa Police Department. Whites (1.4) are better represented in the police department.”
  • Gender & Tulsa Police Department Employees: “Females are underrepresented in the police department – a rate of 0.4 female officers per 1,000 compared to 1.6 male officers.”

The Syllabus

Each Equality Indicator distills many, many social and environmental determinants into a single data point. To understand the root causes of these disparities, I developed the Justice Indicators Syllabus as a self-guided curriculum for leaders, policymakers, and community members. 

Unit 1: Race Relations

  • “What it takes to be racially literate” by Priya Vulchi and Winona Guo (TED Talk)
  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo (book)
  • Black and White Styles in Conflict by Thomas Kochman (book)
  • How to resolve racially stressful situations by Howard C. Stevenson (TED Talk)
  • White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo (book)

Unit 2: Foundations in Racial Equity

  • Biased by Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt (book)
  • Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race by Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum (book)
  • Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi (book)
  • “Moving the Race Conversation Forward” by Race Forward (report)

Unit 3: Interpreting Disparity Data

  • “Using Data to Guide Difficult Conversations around Structural Racism” by Lesli C. Myers and Kara S. Finnigan in Voices in Urban Education (article)
  • “Why Frames Matter” by Julie Sweetland in Framing the Dialogue on Race and Ethnicity to Advance Health Equity (article)
  • “Susan Greenbaum, Blaming the Poor: The Long Shadow of the Moynihan Report on Cruel Images about Poverty” by New Books in Sociology (podcast)

Unit 4: Social Determinants

  • “About social determinants of health” by World Health Organization (definitions)
  • “Adverse Community Experiences and Resilience: A Framework for Addressing and Preventing Community Trauma” by Prevention Institute (report)
  • “Addressing Police Violence As a Public Health Issue: American Public Health Association’s New Hard-Won Stance and What Comes Next” (article)

Unit 5: Race and Criminal Justice

  • “Repairing Justice: An Alternative to Prison” by On the Media (podcast)
  • 13th by Ava DuVernay (documentary)
  • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander (book)
  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stephenson (book)

Unit 6: Policing

  • “Reforming the LAPD: A civil rights attorney works with police to change discriminatory thinking,” by To the Best of Our Knowledge (podcast)
  • “How we can make racism a solvable problem — and improve policing” by Phillip Atiba Goff (TED Talk)
  • Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys by Victor M. Rios (book)
  • “Sean Bell” by Team Philly at Brave New Voices (poem)
  • “The urgency of intersectionality” by Kimberlé Crenshaw (TED Talk)
  • Policing, Poverty, and Racial Inequality in Tulsa, Oklahoma by Human Rights Watch (interactive site)

Unit 7: Making Change

Deep thanks to Dr. Delia Kimbrel, Sarah McGill Brown, Cara Lisa Berg Powers, and Dr. Lara Foley for their contributions.