Anti-Racism & Racial Reconciliation- Definitions and Educational Resource Lists


  • What is Anti-Racism?

  • Definitions of Racism

  • Terms that describe categories of people

  • Terms that describe the results of categorizing people by race

  • Terms that describe movements/concepts to end racism

  • Terms that describe the perpetuation of racism

  • Terms relating to activism

  • Terms and historical concepts to study

  • How to be Anti-Racist

  • Race-oriented websites/Anti-Racism Education Resources

  • Resources on specific topics

What is Anti-Racism?

  • Anti-Racism

"Anti-racism is the active process of identifying and eliminating racism by changing systems, organizational structures, policies and practices and attitudes, so that power is redistributed and shared equitably."

  • Racial Reconciliation

"Reconciliation involves three ideas. First, it recognizes that racism in America is both systemic and institutionalized, with far-reaching effects on both political engagement and economic opportunities for minorities. Second, reconciliation is engendered by empowering local communities through relationship- building and truth-telling. Lastly, justice is the essential component of the conciliatory process-justice that is best termed as restorative rather than retributive, while still maintaining its vital punitive character."

  • Racial Justice

“Racial justice is the systematic fair treatment of people of all races that results in equitable opportunities and outcomes for everyone. All people are able to achieve their full potential in life, regardless of race, ethnicity or the community in which they live.

A “racial justice” framework can move us from a reactive posture to a more powerful, proactive and even preventive approach.”

Definitions of Racism:

  • Racism

"a belief that race is a fundamental determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race, behavior or attitudes that reflect and foster this belief : racial discrimination or prejudice, :the systemic oppression of a racial group to the social, economic, and political advantage of another, a political or social system founded on racism and designed to execute its principles."

  • Internalized Racism

“Internalized racism describes the private racial beliefs held by and within individuals. The way we absorb social messages about race and adopt them as personal beliefs, biases and prejudices are all within the realm of internalized racism.

For people of color, internalized oppression can involve believing in negative messages about oneself or one’s racial group. For white people, internalized privilege can involve feeling a sense of superiority and entitlement, or holding negative beliefs about people of color.”

  • Interpersonal Racism

“Interpersonal racism is how our private beliefs about race become public when we interact with others. When we act upon our prejudices or unconscious bias — whether intentionally, visibly, verbally or not — we engage in interpersonal racism. Interpersonal racism also can be willful and overt, taking the form of bigotry, hate speech or racial violence.”

  • Institutional Racism

“Institutional racism is racial inequity within institutions and systems of power, such as places of employment, government agencies and social services. It can take the form of unfair policies and practices, discriminatory treatment and inequitable opportunities and outcomes. A school system that concentrates people of color in the most overcrowded and under-resourced schools with the least qualified teachers compared to the educational opportunities of white students is an example of institutional racism.”

  • Structural Racism

“Structural racism (or structural racialization) is the racial bias across institutions and society. It describes the cumulative and compounding effects of an array of factors that systematically privilege white people and disadvantage people of color.

Since the word “racism” often is understood as a conscious belief, “racialization” may be a better way to describe a process that does not require intentionality. Race equity expert John A. Powell writes:

“‘Racialization’ connotes a process rather than a static event. It underscores the fluid and dynamic nature of race…‘Structural racialization’ is a set of processes that may generate disparities or depress life outcomes without any racist actors.”

  • Systemic Racialization

“Systemic racialization describes a dynamic system that produces and replicates racial ideologies, identities and inequities. Systemic racialization is the well-institutionalized pattern of discrimination that cuts across major political, economic and social organizations in a society.

Public attention to racism is generally focused on the symptoms (such as a racist slur by an individual) rather than the system of racial inequity.”

  • Colourism

“prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group.”

Terms that describe the categorizations of people:

  • Race

"The term race refers to groups of people who have differences and similarities in biological traits deemed by society to be socially significant, meaning that people treat other people differently because of them. For instance, while differences and similarities in eye color have not been treated as socially significant, differences and similarities in skin color have.

Although some scholars have attempted to establish dozens of racial groupings for the peoples of the world, others have suggested four or five. An example of a racial category is Asian (or Mongoloid), with its associated facial, hair color, and body type features. Yet too many exceptions to this sort of racial grouping have been found to make any racial categorizations truly viable. This fact has led many sociologists to indicate that no clear‐cut races exist—only assorted physical and genetic variations across human individuals and groups.

Certainly, obvious physical differences—some of which are inherited—exist between humans. But how these variations form the basis for social prejudice and discrimination has nothing to do with genetics but rather with a social phenomenon related to outward appearances."

  • Ethnicity

"Ethnicity refers to shared cultural practices, perspectives, and distinctions that set apart one group of people from another. That is, ethnicity is a shared cultural heritage. The most common characteristics distinguishing various ethnic groups are ancestry, a sense of history, language, religion, and forms of dress. Ethnic differences are not inherited; they are learned."

  • Culture

"the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group :the characteristic features of everyday existence (such as diversions or a way of life) shared by people in a place or time"

  • Society

": an enduring and cooperating social group whose members have developed organized patterns of relationships through interaction with one another : a community, nation, or broad grouping of people having common traditions, institutions, and collective activities and interests"

  • Minority

": a part of a population differing from others in some characteristics and often subjected to differential treatment"

"Racial and ethnic groups whose members are especially disadvantaged in a given society may be referred to as minorities. This term has more to do with social factors than with numbers. For example, while people with green eyes may be in the minority, they are not considered to be “true” minorities. From a sociological perspective, minorities generally have a sense of group identity (“belonging together”) and separateness (“being isolated from others”). They are also disadvantaged in some way when compared to the majority of the population."