It is important to understand that the system of advantage is perpetuated when we do not acknowledge its existencePsychologist, educator, author, thought-leader in higher education
Over the past 21 days we have engaged together in learning, dialogue and reflection to expose systematic inequities in our community and build upon our various foundations to confront and deconstruct those inequities together.
Today, as we wrap up the 2022 Equity Challenge, we need to bring the focus back to race. As discussed in Day 2’s materials on Social Identity and Day 4’s lessons on Consequences of Bias, the United States operates from a racist foundation that systematically oppresses people who are not part of the dominant group (historically white, male, straight, land- owning, etc.). All work to maintain and protect the system of white supremacy.
As today’s quote from Dr. Beverly Tatum points out, we will continue to perpetuate the system of advantage when we do not acknowledge or name its presence. To work toward equity and justice across all forms of oppression (racism, sexism, ableism, religious persecution, heterosexism, ageism, anti-Semitism and more) we must center race because the system of white supremacy benefits from and expects our silence. The Racial Equity Alliance points out that race often keeps marginalized communities and co-conspirators from affectively joining together to work toward our collective freedom. By not centering race, by not naming white supremacy, we don’t get to the root of many of the inequities that we face.
Where do we go from here?
The work begins within us all; the work is all of us. In today’s challenge, we encourage you to dig deeper into the frameworks of anti-racism and equity-mindedness. It’s important to note that anti-racism and equity-mindedness will look different for white people, Black people, and people of color. This is an ongoing practice and process for all people, because we all suffer under white supremacy. Anti-racism and equity-mindedness holds us accountable by requiring us to have an active and consistent practice of using the areas where we have power, influence and privilege to engage in actionable steps to undo behaviors, thoughts and actions that maintain white supremacy.
Today’s challenge invites us all to learn more about the work of antiracism and equity-mindedness so we can join together for equity and justice.