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It’s often said that education is a great equalizer: any student who studies and works hard can advance their status. However, as we’ve seen throughout this challenge, inequities experienced by BIPOC and other marginalized students from kindergarten through high school can actually cause further educational and economic disparities. Inequitable funding leads to fewer resources. Cash strapped schools have higher dropout and discipline rates. According to the Centers for Disease Control, dropping out of school is associated with multiple lifelong social and health problems such as obesity, substance abuse, and intentional and unintentional injury.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted Black and Brown communities with greater loss of life and adverse health outcomes. It is not difficult to see how the cycle of generational poverty keeps spinning in part because education impacts health and wellness which impacts earning potential and financial stability.