“It’s in our biology to trust what we see with our eyes. This makes living in a carefully edited, overproduced and photoshopped world very dangerous. ”
― Brené Brown

Equity Challenge Week 3 Wednesday Institutional Racism

For this next portion of our challenge, we will be studying institutional racism. If our goal is to create a more just society, we need to acknowledge the presence of barriers within our institutions and understand how they can reinforce racist biases within society and perpetuating racism.To start this section, we will focus on what institutional racism is and explore what it can look like in historical and current-day contexts.

Institutional racism: Discriminatory treatment, unfair policies and practices, inequitable opportunities and impacts within organizations and institutions, all based on race, that routinely produce racially inequitable outcomes for people of color and advantages for White people. Individuals within institutions take on the power of the institution when they reinforce racial inequities. 

Articles

Defining Institutional Racism (3 Minutes)

Read this article to get a better understanding of what institutional racism is, the history of it, as well as current day examples of it.

Examples of Institutional Racism in the US (6 Minute Read)

Read this article to gain a glimpse into 5 prominent examples of institutional racism.

Explainer: What is Systemic Racism and Institutional Racism (4 Minute Read)

Read this article framed around Joaquin Phoenix’s 2020 BAFTA Awards acceptance speech highlighting the need to address systemic and institutional racism.

Videos

Access Ain’t Inclusion (12:42)

Excerpt from YouTube Description: Getting into college for disadvantaged students is only half the battle. Anthony Abraham Jack, Assistant Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, reveals how and why they struggle and explains what schools can do differently if these students are to thrive. He urges us to grapple with a simple fact: Access is not inclusion.

Marley Dias talks Institutional Racism (1:46)

Excerpt from YouTube Description: For 11-year-old Marley Dias, the call to activism began with books. Frustrated by not seeing other Black girls as the main characters in the books in her school library, she decided to take action and make a change. The wildly successful social media project, #1000blackgirlbooks, Dias launched nearly a year ago with the help of her mother, hit a nerve-and has exceeded its goal of collecting and distributing 1,000 books.

The sixth grader already knows that racism and other built-in barriers are “keeping kids like me from reaching our full potential.” Tackling racism, she says, begins with a conversation. In a new national video on institutional racism, Dias looks to educators across the country and asks: “Do you care enough to look closer, to talk to each other. TO your students, to your communities?” And “To change the dialogue?”

Institutional Racism in the US explained through a Michael Jackson song (5:53)

Video Description from YouTube: Segregation officially ended with the civil rights movement. However, as Michael Jackson pointed out, the legacies of segregation are still alive in US institutions including housing, education and the criminal justice system. This is how institutionalized racism keeps people of colour down in the US.