Films for Change & Racial Equity Report

The Shared Legacy movie poster is all in grey scale, with a photo of a Black family shown on top and a Jewish family in the middle, with an African proverb separating them: If the lion does not tell his story, the hunter will.

Thursday, January 12
5 pm: film
7 pm: discussion
HCLS Miller Branch

Registration required.

Shared Legacies depicts inspirational African American and Jewish collaboration in the 60s Civil Rights era, shows that connection changing, and calls for it to be renewed in light of “divisive seeds of hate taking root anew in the American landscape.”

After viewing, participants and panelists from the African American and Jewish communities ask:

  • Can the legacy continue? How can our communities move forward with a shared agenda to promote racial equity in Howard County, as well as fight for an inclusive economy, education, and healthcare for all, and the equitable dispensation of justice?
  • Is there a joint role in the era of mass-incarceration and the post-January 6th America?
  • Can we move from friction (like that surrounding Ye and Kyrie Irving) to relationship and shared action?

The discussion will be informed by the local report recently released by HCLS: Inequity Within: Issues of Inequity Across Communities.

Films for Change is a series of documentaries about racial equity, each followed by panels featuring local leaders and organizations. Sponsored by the Horizon Foundation.  

In partnership with the African American Community Roundtable, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Howard County, The Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Commission, and the Howard County NAACP.

Inequity Within Report

Over the last two years, Howard County Library System engaged more than 600 people in racial equity training. Using national data about disparities across education, health, housing, and legal systems, the trainers found that racial inequity looks the same across systems, socioeconomic difference does not explain racial inequity, and systems contribute significantly to disparities.
Howard County Library System’s new Inequities Within: Issue of Inequity Across Communities report examines the racial equity landscape in Howard County and across the state of Maryland. The data show disparities across education, healthcare, housing, economic, and legal systems for every racial group.

Page 10 of the Inequity Within report, showing bar graphs, titled "Jurisdictional Comparison of Socioeconomic Indicators".

In Howard County, for example:

  • Black residents are three times more likely to be denied a home loan than non-Hispanic white residents.
  • Hispanic students are 5.4 times more likely than white students to skip school because they felt unsafe.
  • Asian residents in the county are 1.8 times more likely to face poverty than non-Hispanic white residents.

As one of the wealthiest, healthiest, and most diverse communities in the state and the US, the belief that racial inequity does not exist here can be a hindrance to addressing those disparities.

We invite you to read the report, educate yourself, and join with us and others in this work.

For opportunities to learn more and discuss with community members, check here for classes and events.

Funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and administered by the Maryland State Library Agency

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