Structural racism is the system in which public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations, and other norms work in various, often reinforcing ways, to perpetuate racial group inequity. It calls attention to the historical and cultural aspects of our society, along with the thoughts, feelings and behaviors of individuals, that have allowed racial inequity and racism to endure and adapt over time. An important first step in dismantling structural racism is recognizing and acknowledging its existence.
This article from the National Equity Project offers the metaphor of mirror work, looking at our own biases, and window work, looking out into our world and examining how our biases inform institutional structures.
Take a look at this short animated video explaining what structural racism is and its effects.
Reflection and Response
Have you ever experienced structural racism in institutions that you interact with?
How might you as an individual address structural racism?