My Activism project is about educating people about the pay gap between various genders and races of the human population. I participated with the WILL group’s Pay Equity Day bake sale and help them out with it. The premise of this activism is simple; we would host a bake sale about the wage gap between Americans and sell baked goods to individuals based on what they self identify as. We also stated when we talked to individuals we did not have adequate data about non-binary individuals. Also, we noted that the data we had for this bake sale was outdated, but it was the most recent information we could find.
This is just an example of the data we used for the wage gap poster that we used for people to self-identify and to pay for the baked goods from. For example, the default $1.00 would be White men, which we would get from the average weekly earnings of men/ the default, which would = $986/$986 = $1.00. We did this for all of the values, and were able to make a chart from this.
When doing the bake sale, first we had to prepare the cupcakes by putting icing on them, and set out the baked good separated based on dietary restrictions. We set up the various posters and pamphlets and talked to anyone that was interested or happened to walk by us. We started out with a simple greeting to explain what we were doing and why we were doing it, for example, we also had to explain that the data gathered accounted for wages lost too. Pictures below are from the bake sale.
The most memorable part of this bake sale was when a UMBC alumni brought her daughter to the bake sale and she explained to her daughter why we had to do this bake sale in the first place. I feel this is a great example to explain that we were here to educate one person at a time. Starting with the youth of America is one way to change the world for the better in the future. The whole reason why we are trying to educate people is because this matters to everyone who has a mother, wife, daughter, coworker, friend, or a relative who is impacted by this issue of the wage gap. The inequalities of the wage gap affect us all because being payed less for the same work isn’t justice.
This event worked well, though it could have used some improvements that I should have taken upon myself to accomplish. The social media was out there, but I feel it could have been more widespread, like posters about it upcoming around campus, and more people needed to be aware of it on Facebook. I should have made another attempt to update the wage gap board, but with limited data on the internet it was hard to find any numbers from 2014, let alone 2015. Another thing, next time I would make a brochure to describe more in depth and a written form for people to learn about the wage gap and more information and links they could look up.
My approach towards activism has changed after this activist project because I feel like I have a more defined grasp on what it means to be an activist. I don’t have to protest, carry around signs, or do night-long sit downs in public places. I can always communicate with other people and try to debate or explain concepts new or old to them and help them understand why this is an issue that still exists today or how prevalent it is. Would I join more activist movements? Yes. Would I consider myself an activist? I would.