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Here’s our pick of news, writing, and research this week that investigates political questions at the intersections of gender, race, and region.

1. “Unequal Lives: The State of Black Women and Families in the Rural South
An important new report released by the Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative shows that on nearly every social indicator of well-being — from income and earnings to obesity and food security — Black women, girls and children in the rural South rank low or last. The report also details how foundation funding is rarely dedicated to programs that focus on black women and girls: “When gender is taken into consideration, at the national level, only 4.7 percent of total giving and a meager 6 percent of all grants went to programs focused on women and girls. In 2012, just 5.4 percent of all foundation funding in the South went to programs focused on women and girls, with less than 1 percent to programs focused on Black women and girls.”

2. “On the Death of Sandra Bland and Our Vulnerable Bodies
Roxane Gay: “There is a code of conduct in emergency situations — women and children first. The most vulnerable among us should be rescued before all others. In reality, this code of conduct is white women and children first. Black women, black children, they are not afforded the luxury of vulnerability. We have been shown this time and again. We remember McKinney, Tex., and a police officer, David Casebolt, holding a young black girl to the ground. We say the names of the fallen. Tamir Rice. Renisha McBride. Natasha McKenna. Tanisha Anderson. Rekia Boyd. We say their names until our throats run dry and there are still more names to add to the list.”

3. “National HIV/AIDS Strategy: Updated to 2020
On Thursday President Obama released an updated national HIV/AIDS strategy looking ahead to 2020, and issued an Executive Order for its implementation. The strategy calls for a prioritization of “cost-effective, scalable interventions… in the communities where HIV is most concentrated for the following groups: Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men of all races and ethnicities (noting the particularly high burden of HIV among Black gay and bisexual men); Black women and men; Latino men and women; People who inject drugs; Youth aged 13 to 24 years (noting the particularly high burden of HIV among young Black gay and bisexual men); People in the Southern United States; Transgender women (noting the particularly high burden of HIV among Black transgender women).”

4. “The Diaper Dilemma
“Infants use about 240 diapers per month. A year’s supply of diapers costs $936. That means a single mother mother working full time at the minimum wage can expect to spend 6 percent of her annual pay on Pampers alone. Meanwhile, the two biggest programs that assist low-income mothers, SNAP (food stamps) and WIC, don’t cover diapers or baby wipes.”

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