DAY 3: Levels of Racism

“Race matters. Race matters because of persistent racial inequality in society – inequality that cannot be ignored and that has produced stark socioeconomic disparities.” –Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
In order to address racism effectively, we have to understand how it operates at multiple levels. Often what people think of first and foremost is interpersonal racism. Only seeing this level means that we fail to see the full picture that keeps the system of racism in place.
Without a clear understanding of each level of racism, it will be hard to dismantle the systems that support the oppression of others based on their race. Each level needs to be addressed to make progress towards an equitable society. The graph below illustrates all of the domains in which racism operates.

TODAY’S CHALLENGE: Do one or more of the following…


Read the article Historical Foundations Of Race from the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The term “race,” used infrequently before the 1500s, was used to identify groups of people with a kinship or group connection. The modern-day use of the term “race” is a human invention.
Examine this article published by the Interaction Institute for Social Change to understand the historic and present-day manifestations of racism as well as intentional ways to take action against racism.


Watch the video Systemic Racism Explained by Systemic racism is evident in every area of life in the U.S., with disparities in family wealth, incarceration rates, political representation, education and other areas. Trying to solve these problems requires changes in major parts of our system. Here's a closer look at what systemic racism is, and how we can solve it.


Think about the various levels of racism and what you can do to eliminate them. The first part has already begun with you joining this challenge and doing the interpersonal work!
Next, pay attention to policies that may pose barriers for others – organizational policies from by-laws to hiring practices. Speak up when you notice them. Reducing and eliminating systemic racism comes from changing laws and policies in our government and other institutions. Find out who your local elected officials are, and connect with them.


Take part in this week's service activity: Black Authors Children’s Book Drive

Encourage literacy in our community’s youngest members by collecting and donating new children’s books by Black authors. These books will be distributed to children in need by our distribution partners. Learn more and give back.


Capture what you learned by journaling your thoughts and feelings about today's content. Click below to download a journal page for today.
If you are participating in the Challenge as part of a group, download this free guide to help facilitate discussion.

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