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Anti-racism resources

A note on the scope of this guide

This guide is intended to provide general information about anti-racism. This guide is by no means an exhaustive list of anti-racism initiatives nor does it capture all of the many facets of the larger conversations about the issues listed here. This guide serves as an introduction to these issues and as a starting place for finding information from a variety of sources.

If you would like to suggest resources for this guide, please contact John Oliver (oliverj AT tcnj DOT edu).

Racism, defined

Racism: "Racism is prejudice plus power; anyone of any race can have/exhibit racial prejudice, but in North America, white people have the institutional power, therefore racism is a systematized discrimination or antagonism directed against people of color based on the belief that whiteness is superior. It is insidious, systemic, devastating, and integral to understanding both the history of the United States and the everyday experiences of those of us living in this country." [Source]

Structural racism‚Äč is the overarching system of racial bias across institutions and society. These systems give privileges to white people resulting in disadvantages to people of color. [Source]

 

Institutional Racism: "refers to the policies and practices within and across institutions that, intentionally or not, produce outcomes that chronically favor, or put a racial group at a disadvantage. Poignant examples of institutional racism can be found in school disciplinary policies in which students of color are punished at much higher rates that their white counterparts, in the criminal justice system, and within many employment sectors in which day-to-day operations, as well as hiring and firing practices can significantly disadvantage workers of color." [Source]

Other important terminology

Anti-racism: "When we choose to be antiracist, we become actively conscious about race and racism and take actions to end racial inequities in our daily lives...Being antiracist is different for white people than it is for people of color. For white people, being antiracist evolves with their racial identity development. They must acknowledge and understand their privilege, work to change their internalized racism, and interrupt racism when they see it. For people of color, it means recognizing how race and racism have been internalized, and whether it has been applied to other people of color." [Source]

 

Bias: "a strong inclination of the mind or a preconceived opinion about something or someone. A bias may be favorable or unfavorable: bias in favor of or against an idea." [Source]

Implicit bias: a term used to describe "when we have attitudes towards people or associate stereotypes with them without our conscious knowledge. A fairly commonplace example of this is seen in studies that show that white people will frequently associate criminality with black people without even realizing they’re doing it." [Source]

Algorithm bias: A term used to describe the ways that people of color and women are marginalized and oppressed by digital media platforms. [Source

 

 

Cultural Appropriation: "the adoption or co-opting, usually without acknowledgment, of cultural identity markers associated with or originating in minority communities by people or communities with a relatively privileged status." [Source]

 

 

Microaggressions: "the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership. In many cases, these hidden messages may invalidate the group identity or experiential reality of target persons, demean them on a personal or group level, communicate they are lesser human beings, suggest they do not belong with the majority group, threaten and intimidate, or relegate them to inferior status and treatment." [Source][[more detail about microaggressions on a separate tab/page? including categories and how to confront them]]

 

Privilege: "1. Power and advantages benefiting a group derived from the historical oppression and exploitation of other groups. 2. Unearned access to resources only readily available to some people as a result of their group membership." [Source: Parvis, L. Understanding Cultural Diversity in Today's Complex World, 5th ed., Embrace Publications, 2013, p. 169]

White Privilege: "The concrete benefits of access to resources and social rewards and the power to shape the norms and values of society which whites receive, unconsciously or consciously, by virtue of their skin color in a racist society.

Examples include the ability to be unaware of race, the ability to live and work among people of the same racial group as their own, the security of not being pulled over by the police for being a suspicious person, the expectation that they speak for themselves and not their entire race, the ability to have a job hire or promotion attributed to their skills and background and not affirmative action." [Source: Adams, Maurianne Ed, Lee Anne Ed Bell, and Pat Ed Griffin. Teaching for diversity and social justice. Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group, 2007.]

 

White Fragility: "a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium." [Source: Review of White Fragility DiAngelo]

Acknowledgments

This guide has been adapted from anti-racism and anti-oppression guides by librarians at New York Institute of Technology, Simmons University, and Texas A&M University

Creative Commons License 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License