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1 A FRAMEWORK FOR UNDERSTANDING THE CAUSES OF RACIAL INEQUITIES IN 21ST CENTURY AMERICA Presented by:The Aspen InstituteRoundtable on Community ChangeAnne Kubisch, Keith Lawrence, Raymond CodringtonOctober 2, 2012Detroit, MI
2 OUR AGENDA FOR TODAY:A language to talk about raceA framework for understanding how race and ethnicity operate in contemporary America (post-civil rights legislation)New ideas and strategies for promoting racial equity
3 What is race and how do we understand it? “A social construct”No biological or scientific basis behind itBest understood in social and political terms
4 New Language – we need to identify and talk about: The ongoing advantages associated with being "white” – sometimes referred to as a white privilegeThe ongoing disadvantages associated with being a person of “color”— which we refer to as structural racism
5 Source: Kaiser Family Foundation State Health Facts. http://www
6 Source: Race Matters for Michigan Children, 2011. http://www
7 How is structural racism different? Common explanations of entrenched racial and/or ethnic disparity:IndividualInstitutionalStructural
8 Racism at the individual or inter-group level: …these are important, andthese personal attitudes and beliefs color decision-making and actions.Personal prejudiceRacial slurs, the n-wordInter-group tensionsSolution strategies include:Diversity and multi-culturalismCultural competence
9 institutional and structural The bigger problem…Racism at theinstitutional and structurallevels
11 Examples of Institutional Racism Discriminatory practices, intentional or notRedlining or “steering”Occupational segregationRacial profiling
12 One example: Racial profiling Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. ContactsBetween Police and the Public: Findings from the 2002 National Survey. April 2005.
13 Institutional Racism: A Systems PerspectiveEduca-tionEmploy-mentHousingEnviron-mentCriminal JusticeHealth
14 Structural Racism Culture History Values Educa-tion Employ-ment HousingEnviron-mentCriminal JusticeHealthHistoryValues
15 and cultural representations What is Structural Racism?It describes the complex ways thathistory, public policies, institutional practicesand cultural representations(e.g., stereotypes, norms)interact to maintain racial hierarchy and inequitable racial group outcomes; thereby allowingprivileges associated with “whiteness”and disadvantages associated with “color”to endure and adapt.
16 Structural Racism and Racial Inequities Knowledge or Ideological ContextContemporaryCultureHistoricallyAccumulatedWhite PrivilegeNationalValuesInstitutional ManifestationsSocial ManifestationsInstitutional Racism & Inter-Institutional InteractionsSocial ProcessesMaintaining RacialHierarchiesEducationEmploymentHealthHousingCriminalJusticeEnvironmentProduction & Reproduction of Racial Inequities
17 Structural Racism and Racial Inequities WE ARE HEREKnowledge or Ideological ContextContemporaryCultureHistoricallyAccumulatedWhite PrivilegeNationalValuesInstitutional ManifestationsSocial ManifestationsInstitutional Racism & Inter-Institutional InteractionsSocial ProcessesMaintaining RacialHierarchiesEducationEmploymentHealthHousingCriminalJusticeEnvironmentProduction & Reproduction of Racial Inequities
18 Historically Accumulated White Privilege Whites’ historical and contemporary advantages in access to:quality educationdecent jobslivable wageshome ownershipretirement benefits… have helped create and sustainadvantages in wealth accumulation.
19 Net Worth by RaceSource: Pew Research CenterPew Social & Demographic Trends ReportWealth Gaps Rise to Record Highs Between Whites, Blacks, Hispanics July 26,2011Since the “Great Recession,” wealth gap widest in 25 yrsWhite net worth = 20 X wealth of Blacks; 18 X wealth of HispanicsIn 2009, one-quarter of all Black, Hispanic households had ZERO assets.
20 Parents/Grandparents of Parents/Grandparents of WHITE AMERICANS:Parents/Grandparents ofBLACK AMERICANS:Had higher incomes/earned salariesAccumulated retirement through union membership, participation in social security, etc.Benefited from home ownership policies and were able to buy property in rising neighborhoods.Had lower incomes because of educational segregation and discrimination in employment.Were denied access to suburban real estate because of exclusionary brokering and community planningWere denied low-interest Federal Housing Authority mortgage loans due to “redlining”
21 Structural Racism and Racial Inequities WE ARE HEREKnowledge or Ideological ContextContemporaryCultureHistoricallyAccumulatedWhite PrivilegeNationalValuesInstitutional ManifestationsSocial ManifestationsInstitutional Racism & Inter-Institutional InteractionsSocial ProcessesMaintaining RacialHierarchiesEducationEmploymentHealthHousingCriminalJusticeEnvironmentProduction & Reproduction of Racial Inequities
22 National Values Such as: Equal opportunity: A “level playing field” Meritocracy:Advancement depends on talent and effortIndividualism/ Personal Responsibility:Individual choices and behaviors determine outcomes
23 Often implies inherent laziness and a poor work ethic for National ValuesFor too many people of color, these national values do not apply:Negates the material and psychological advantages of some groupsOften implies inherent lazinessand a poor work ethic formany people of color.These views can be heldby whites or POCEqual OpportunityReinforces the myth that individual skills and effort wholly determine outcomes
24 Structural Racism and Racial Inequities WE ARE HEREKnowledge or Ideological ContextContemporaryCultureHistoricallyAccumulatedWhite PrivilegeNationalValuesInstitutional ManifestationsSocial ManifestationsInstitutional Racism & Inter-Institutional InteractionsSocial ProcessesMaintaining RacialHierarchiesEducationEmploymentHealthHousingCriminalJusticeEnvironmentProduction & Reproduction of Racial Inequities
25 Societal norms, values and practices Contemporary CultureSocietal norms, values and practicesreinforce racial stereotypes and emphasize “innate” capacities of different groups.The media’s creation and perpetuation of racial stereotypes has been particularly pernicious. For example…
26 Perceptions of Young Black Men When people are seen as possessing “deficient” or “deviant” cultural practices:It becomes common sense to deny public resources, judge them differentlyPeople can point to culture as an individual not structural impediment to progress.These stereotypes are often recycled and have appeared in the past.
27 Cultural Perceptions: “Everything’s in a Name” Percentage of applicants that received interview requests:Common WHITE namesCommon BLACK namesKristenCarrieLaurieMeredithSarahAllisonJillAnneEmilyAverage 10.3%EbonyLatonyaKenyaLatoyaTanishaLakishaTamikaKeishaAishaAverage 6.9%Source: Alan B. Krueger. Economic Scene: sticks and stones can break bones, but thewrong name can make a job hard to find. The New York Times. (December 1, 2002), C2.
28 Influence of Cultural Perceptions in determining outcomes in opportunity domains Source: The Civil Rights Project. “Opportunities Suspended: The DevastatingConsequences of Zero Tolerance and School Discipline.” Harvard University. (2000): P.8.
29 Internalized White Privilege “…an invisible package of unearned assets which I can count on cashing in each day,but about which I was meantto remain oblivious….”- Peggy Macintosh, “White Privilege:Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.”
30 Contents of a KnapsackI can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.If a traffic cop pulls me over or if the IRS audits my tax return, I can be sure I haven't been singled out because of my race.I do not have to educate my children to be aware of systemic racism for their own daily physical protection.
31 Internalized Oppression by African Americans “Stereotype Threat”African American students perform as well as their white peers on exams when they are told the test is merely an exerciseThey perform more poorly than their white peers when told that the exam is intended to assess their competence and intelligenceSource:
32 Structural Racism and Racial Inequities Knowledge or Ideological ContextContemporaryCultureHistoricallyAccumulatedWhite PrivilegeNationalValuesInstitutional ManifestationsSocial ManifestationsInstitutional Racism & Inter-Institutional InteractionsSocial ProcessesMaintaining RacialHierarchiesEducationEmploymentHealthHousingCriminalJusticeEnvironmentWE ARE HEREProduction & Reproduction of Racial Inequities
33 Structural Racism is reconstructed and preserved through various sorting processes, such as … MarginalizationSocial Isolation& ExclusionExploitationIncludedbutrelegatedTakenadvantageofNotincluded… that often reposition groups of color … rather than eliminate racial hierarchy.
34 Latin Americans – Examples of exclusion, marginalization, exploitation Pressure to deport illegal Mexican workersSouthern border fencePeriodic “English only” campaignsCommunity mobilizations against “day laborers.”Occupation segregation, e.g., Mexicans relegated to low- wage jobs in food service industry, agriculture, constructionDeportation initiativesLabor exploitation in agriculture (migrant farm workers), manufacturing (the garment industry), and home care (housekeeping, child and elder care).
35 Another social process that maintains racial hierarchies… Progress and Retrenchment:Progress has been made throughmajor “racial equality” victoriesBUTGains on some fronts are often challenged, neutralized or undermined.Significant backlashes develop in keypublic policy areas.
36 A recent retrenchment example… A 2008 report from United for a Fair Economy estimates that thetotal loss of wealth for people of color from subprime loans taken out between 2000 and 2008 will be between$164 and $213 Billion.Source: Amaad Rivera et al. Foreclosed: State of the Dream, United for a Fair Economy. January 15, 2008.
37 Structural Racism and Racial Inequities Knowledge or Ideological ContextContemporaryCultureHistoricallyAccumulatedWhite PrivilegeNationalValuesInstitutional ManifestationsSocial ManifestationsInstitutional Racism & Inter-Institutional InteractionsSocial ProcessesMaintaining RacialHierarchiesEducationEmploymentHealthHousingCriminalJusticeEnvironmentProduction & Reproduction of Racial Inequities
38 Video: An Example of Structural Racism? “The Color Line and the Bus Line”Nightline by Ted Koppel
39 Table Exercise: Break into small groups Identify one racial inequity in MichiganIdentify the historical originIdentify a contemporary policy or practice that helps perpetuate itIdentity an aspect of contemporary culture that helps perpetuate it
41 Why focus on structural racism? Structural causes of inequalities are difficult to see because:We are so embedded in themThey are woven into the fabric of our assumptions about how things operateThey are self-perpetuating and don’t require active work to be maintained“Fish don’t notice the water they’re swimming in”
42 What does the Structural Racism Framework mean for people who want to reduce inequities?It means four types of changes in the way we work:Internal changePolicy changePractice changeCultural/representational change
43 “Internal” ChangeAccepting and establishing racial equity as a central tenet and operating principle in our work to improve outcomes in our internal work environment.For example:Focus not just on improving outcomes for all but also on reducing racial gapsFocus not just on diversity in the workplace, but also on racial equity in opportunities for advancement and leadership
44 “Policy” change:Working on the fundamental rules of the game within your organization and your field, and not shrinking from challenging traditional power bases and networks.For example:Focus on the fundamental distribution of resources in terms of money, infrastructure, and opportunities within your organization and outside your organization
45 “Practice” Change:Focusing carefully on all of the ways in which standard practices reproduce – or fail to counteract – racially disparate outcomes.For example:Critically examine informal practices within your organization and their impact on racial and ethnic minorities (e.g. mentoring, access to positions which lead to leadership opportunities, visibility etc.)
46 “Cultural” or “representational” change: Reframing and changing stereotypical messages, images and interpretations of information about people of color.For Example:Challenge assumptions that employees, board members, policymakers, the citizens of our communities, and other key actors bring to discussions about people of color because these assumptions “frame” how problems are perceived and how solutions are developed.
47 PROJECT BREAKTHROUGH: CHANGING THE STORY OF RACE IN JACKSONVILLE A partnership ofThe Community Foundation in Jacksonville,The Jacksonville Human Rights Commission,The OneJax InstituteSince 2008, Project Breakthrough has worked on:Promoting Civic Leadership: Convened Jacksonville’s key leaders in a seminar on structural racismChanging Key Policies and Practices:Conducted training seminars for middle- & high-school educatorsDeveloped a curriculum for judges in FloridaChanging Media Messages:Convened Jacksonville’s media professionals in a seminarConducted training seminars for the staff of the city’s newspaper, The Florida Times Union
49 Desired Racial Equity Outcome What we wantDesired Racial Equity OutcomeBuildingBlockBuildingBlockBuildingBlockBuildingBlockBuildingBlockOur prioritiesWhat helps, hindersP +/-P +/-R+/-P+/-P +/-R +/-P +/-P +/-R+/-Who has most power, influence to shape PPRsWhat wemust knowPossible sources of retrenchmentHow governance works in our contextAssess our organizational capacity realisticallyWhat we must doGiven our capacities, decide role we can play, set strategic priorities, identify alliesTake action!!
50 Thank You The Aspen Institute Roundtable on Community Change 281 Park Avenue South, 5th FloorNew York, NY 10010(212)