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Understanding Structural Racism Activity
This activity helps participants delve deeper in analyzing racism and start to le...
5. In the small groups, give participants 10 minutes to think of examples for their assigned
group. Have the groups record...
Structural
Racism
Personal beliefs, attitudes,
and actions Formal and informal practices
Policies and procedures
 Individ...
Personal beliefs, attitudes,
and actions Formal and informal practices
Policies and procedures
 A teacher only recommends...
Personal beliefs, attitudes,
and actions
Formal and informal practices
 The company doesn’t recruit from schools
with div...
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Understanding Structural Racism Activity

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This activity helps participants delve deeper in analyzing racism and start to learn how to use a structural racism lens. Many times, actions are focused on changing the personal beliefs without looking at the practices and procedures that contribute to the issue. Through this activity, participants will have the opportunity to break down the issue of racism at a structural level so that the group can come up with realistic action ideas for change.

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Understanding Structural Racism Activity

  1. 1. Understanding Structural Racism Activity This activity helps participants delve deeper in analyzing racism and start to learn how to use a structural racism lens. Many times, actions are focused on changing the personal beliefs without looking at the practices and procedures that contribute to the issue. Through this activity, participants will have the opportunity to break down the issue of racism at a structural level so that the group can come up with realistic action ideas for change. Goal:  To get participants to analyze an issue through a structural racism lens  To engage participants in an interactive way to identify the personal beliefs, practices, and procedures that contribute to the issue  To create a compiled list of barriers impacting the issue on the structural level Materials needed:  Structural Racism handouts  Chart paper  Markers Preparation:  Review the Structural Racism handout. Familiarize yourself and understand all 3 layers to structural racism: the personal attitudes/beliefs, formal and informal practices,and policies and procedures.  Review the sample structural racism examples. If the sample examples do not fit the community specific issue, brainstorm a few examples for each level.  Identify the community specific issue the group will work on. Part 1: Activity overview 1. Pass out the Structural Racism handouts. Give participants a few minutes to review them. 2. Explain each level of structural racism as participants look on. 3. Use the examples to help participants understand each level. Allow time for clarifying questions. 4. Divide participants into three groups. Group 1 will be “Personal Attitudes,” Group 2 will be “Formal and Informal Practices,” and Group 3 will be “Policies and Procedures.”
  2. 2. 5. In the small groups, give participants 10 minutes to think of examples for their assigned group. Have the groups record their answers on chart paper. Part 2: Skit Activity 1. Following the brainstorm, ask each small group to pick one example and create a 2-minute skit to illustrate the example. 2. Have each group set the skit’s context and perform their skit. Ask the audience to pay attention to how the skit illustrates the group’s assigned level. 3. After each skit, debrief with the following questions: a. Was the skit realistic? b. How was the skit an example of personal attitudes and beliefs/practices/policies and procedures? 4. After all the skits, ask all three skits to start up simultaneously. Wait about 20 seconds. 5. Then, stop the skits and explain that collectively, these are the different levels contributing to the issue. If one level is addressed,there are two other levels occurring at the same time. If this group wants to truly see change, actions need to address all three levels.
  3. 3. Structural Racism Personal beliefs, attitudes, and actions Formal and informal practices Policies and procedures  Individual  The person may act intentionally or without knowing it  Make white normal  Behaviors or customs that lead to advantages to some and disadvantages to others  May not be intentional  Create advantages for whites and disadvantages for people of color  May not mention race or have been created to produce the racial disadvantage  Personal, local, and national racial history may cause unequal or unintended results
  4. 4. Personal beliefs, attitudes, and actions Formal and informal practices Policies and procedures  A teacher only recommends white and Asian students for the program even though she has black and Latino students who have the grades to get in. She doesn’t believe they have the right attitude for the program.  Many black students do not apply for the program because they will be teased by their friends for “acting white.”  The information sent home about the program is written in very formal and academic language that many parents do not understand.  The informational meeting about the program is in a large-scale setting that intimidates many parents. Parents must write an in-depth application for their child to get into the program. Many parents are unable to complete the application. Example: Low percentage of black and Latino students in gifted and talented programs
  5. 5. Personal beliefs, attitudes, and actions Formal and informal practices  The company doesn’t recruit from schools with diverse populations  There is a lack of support for employees of color  Hiring is often rushed, which doesn’t allow time to reach out to more diverse applicants  There is a lack of training to support internal promotions  The referral program is based on who you know  Only people with a certain “look” are hired and promoted  Some people of color don’t believe they can be successful at this company  Some people believe that talking about race is perpetuating racism  Human Resources screens and sends only three resumes  Hiring practices favor formal education versus years of experience  Hiring decisions are sometimes taken out of the hands of the supervisor Policies and procedures Example: Lack of diversity in upper management

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