RACE AS A GLOBAL ISSUE: INTERVIEW WITH DOMINIQUE DAY.

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Author: Kendrick Foster
Date: Fall 2020
From: Harvard International Review(Vol. 41, Issue 4)
Publisher: Harvard International Relations Council, Inc.
Document Type: Interview
Length: 2,478 words
Lexile Measure: 1210L

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Dominique Day is the vice chair of the United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent. She is also the founder and executive director of Daylight, which aims to promote justice across borders, boundaries, and sectors.

What motivated you to found Daylight, and what are some of its most significant achievements over the last couple of years? I've been in practice for a little over 20 years, and I found myself wanting to have a platform where I could draw on all the different skills 1 felt like I developed. Additionally, I felt that our approaches to systemic racism needed to be more interdisciplinary, driven by complex solutions and not necessarily constrained by our roles as lawyers, litigators, or policy folk. I found a lot was lacking in the way that legal and policy institutions approached capacity building, so Daylight became a space to really build out both an implementation arm where we can build capacity but then also a much more complex way to think about strategy or to think about what it really looks like to make durable change.

In terms of accomplishments, I've definitely worked on a good number of projects looking at strategies around systemic racism in specific organizations or institutions. We've done some interesting research studies that are hopefully leading to practice changes. One of the instruments we use is the KAP study, knowledge, attitudes, and practices. These are big studies of a sector to look at how people's knowledge, attitudes, and practices influence a particular issue, whether it's race or gender-based violence. Obviously, you're getting a lot of qualitative data, but if you project across a large number of people in the way you collect it, it can be quantified. Then, you can perform very sophisticated statistical analysis to really think about where our points of leverage were or what are the interesting correlations.

Being able to do that internationally has been really great. We did a WHO report a few years ago with an NGO in Afghanistan. One of the most fascinating things we found was completely unexpected. We were looking at doctors as first responders to gender-based violence, and we interviewed people in every single clinic in this particular region. We found that doctors who understood that men could be raped were significantly more likely to address gender-based violence and the possibility of intimate partner violence with their female patients. The ways in which all of these things interconnect and really play on each other has been really satisfying, especially for my intellectual curiosity.

It doesn't seem to me that there's been a lot of groups like this doing international work and working on racial justice in an international context, not just an American domestic content, and I think that's something that's really unique and really interesting. Yeah, of course. As we found out very quickly, protests that sprung up in the US were quickly mirrored by protests all over the world. While I think Americans might want to...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A655912339