Adultification is defined as a “social or cultural stereotype that is based on how adults perceive children in the absence of knowledge of children’s behavior and verbalization.” When society embraces harmful stereotypes for people of the global majority (replaces people of color) -- black women are promiscuous”; black people are violent and criminal” -- these stereotypes are also applied to children.
IN THE CLASSROOM
Black girls are 6 times more likely to receive out of school suspensions than their White counterparts. As early as age 5, Black girls are viewed by adults as more knowledgeable about sex and adult topics, less in need of nurture and support, and significantly older than white girls of the same age.
Source: Center for American Progress, 2013.
IN THE STATE
There are 35,510 Black girls between the ages of kindergarten through 12th grade in our Central Texas project area according to the 2010 Census. Females of color will comprise approximately 53% of the U.S. population by the year 2050.
The Innocence Initiative is a collaboration that will elevate the data, listen to the real-life stories of Black girls, and address disparities that perpetuate adultification through advocacy, training, and a public awareness campaign. In order to eliminate adultification bias and change the narratives dictating how our children are viewed and treated, our community has decided on 6 courses of action.