Wisconsin is considered one of the worst states in the nation for racial equality.
According to a report from The Center on Wisconsin Strategy, the state regularly ranks among the worst in indicators like disparities in unemployment, income and education.
As a woman of color — born and raised in Wisconsin — I could tell you this is true. But as the managing editor of Disparity Dialogue, I now recognize the concern behind such an unfortunate statistic — thanks to the fearless and rigorous reporting of my fellow classmates.
Despite studying at one of the most prestigious schools in the nation, UW-Madison journalism students sought to further explore what disparities on campus, in the city and in the larger state look like.
While the stories presented to you here are separated by disparities in jobs, justice, health and neighborhoods, our team encourages you to recognize how such disparities intersect. Whether it be housing discrimination, lack of access to food, sexual violence and gender discrimination, disparities are ever-present in the lives of many Wisconsin residents.
Disparity Dialogue is a collection of stories written by young reporters within the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication who are concerned about how disparity intersects in Wisconsin society. Journalism 335 “Principles and Practices in Reporting” students were responsible for planning, researching and executing this project — from pitching story ideas to launching the final website.
Disparity is defined as “a great difference.” The difference may be great — the effect it has on real lives is greater. Our goal is to encourage readers to confront their privileges by exploring the reasons why others who look differently, speak differently and think differently aren’t afforded the same privileges.
–Hibah Ansari, Managing Editor