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."

  • POC/NB-POC/BIPOC = "People of Color/Non- Black People of Color/Black-Indigenous-People of Color" "

"Black can refer to dark-skinned peoples of Africa, Oceania, and Australia or their descendants without regard for the lightness or darkness of skin tone, and who were enslaved by white people. Indigenous, here, refers to ethnic groups native to the Americas, and who were killed en masse by white people. People of color is an umbrella term for non-white people, especially as they face racism and discrimination in a white dominant culture....some scholars and activists argue that the phrase people of color is too broad and general. It can obscure the fact that different members of minority groups experience racism and oppression differently—and historically did under colonialism in North America. It can even worsen the problems that racial groups experience, they feel, due to anti-Black racism from other people of color (e.g., some Latin, Asian, or Middle Eastern Americans). And Indigenous people have especially been overlooked in consideration of racism in society. "

"the precise definition of "person of color" has varied among the states and over time....usually carries a friendly and respectful connotation, but should not be used as a synonym for black; it refers to all racial groups that are not white."

  • Black vs. African American

"The dictionary definition of African-American is "an American of African and especially of Black African descent." A Black person is described as "of or relating to any of various population groups having dark pigmentation of the skin" or "of or relating to African-American people or their culture."

  • Native vs. Indigenous

"Indigenous is a term used to encompass a variety of Aboriginal groups. It is most frequently used in an international, transnational, or global context. This term came into wide usage during the 1970s when Aboriginal groups organized transnationally and pushed for greater presence in the United Nations (UN). In the UN, “Indigenous” is used to refer broadly to peoples of long settlement and connection to specific lands who have been adversely affected by incursions by industrial economies, displacement, and settlement of their traditional territories by others. For more on how this term was developed, please see our section on global actions....

“Native” is a general term that refers to a person or thing that has originated from a particular place. The term “native” does not denote a specific Aboriginal ethnicity (such as First Nation, Métis, or Inuit). In the United States, the term “Native American” is in common usage to describe Aboriginal peoples. In Canada, the term “Aboriginal” or “Indigenous” is generally preferred to “Native.” Some may feel that “native” has a negative connotation and is outdated. This term can also be problematic in certain contexts, as some non-Aboriginal peoples born in a settler state may argue that they, too, are “native.”,Native,originated%20from%20a%20particular%20place.&text=In%20Canada%2C%20the%20term%20%E2%80%9CAboriginal,negative%20connotation%20and%20is%20outdated.

  • Diaspora

“the voluntary or forcible movement of peoples from their homelands into new regions ...” There is “a common element in all forms of diaspora; these are people who live outside their natal (or imagined natal) territories and recognize that their traditional homelands are reflected deeply in the languages they speak, religions they adopt, and the cultures they produce.”

  • Whiteness

“The term white, referring to people, was created by Virginia slave owners and colonial rules in the 17th century. It replaced terms like Christian and Englishman to distinguish European colonists from Africans and indigenous peoples. European colonial powers established whiteness as a legal concept after Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676, during which indentured servants of European and African descent had united against the colonial elite. The legal distinction of white separated the servant class on the basis of skin color and continental origin. The creation of ‘whiteness’ meant giving privileges to some, while denying them to others with the justification of biological and social inferiority. Whiteness itself refers to the specific dimensions of racism that serve to elevate white people over people of color. This definition counters the dominant representation of racism in mainstream education as isolated in discrete behaviors that some individuals may or may not demonstrate, and goes beyond naming specific privileges (McIntosh, 1988). Whites are theorized as actively shaped, affected, defined, and elevated through their racialization and the individual and collective consciousness formed within it ... Whiteness is thus conceptualized as a constellation of processes and practices rather than as a discrete entity (i.e. skin color alone). Whiteness is dynamic, relational, and operating at all times and on myriad levels. These processes and practices include basic rights, values, beliefs, perspectives, and experiences purported to be commonly shared by all but which are actually only consistently afforded to white people.”

Terms that describe experiences due to the categorization of people:

  • Prejudice

““an adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand or without knowledge or examination of the facts” to “irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular group, race or religion.””

“Prejudice refers to irrational or unjustifiable negative emotions or evaluations toward persons from other social groups, and it is a primary determinant of discriminatory behavior.”


  • Stereotype

“The Oxford English Dictionary defines a stereotype as a “widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing””

“Blanket beliefs and expectations about members of certain groups that present an oversimplified opinion, prejudiced attitude, or uncritical judgment. They go beyond necessary and useful categorizations and generalizations in that they are typically negative, are based on little information and are highly generalized.”

  • Bias

“a particular tendency, trend, inclination, feeling, or opinion, especially one that is preconceived or unreasoned: unreasonably hostile feelings or opinions about a social group”

“Conscious bias in its extreme is characterized by overt negative behavior that can be expressed through physical and verbal harassment or through more subtle means such as exclusion.”

  • Implicit Bias

Thoughts and feelings are “implicit” if we are unaware of them or mistaken about their nature. We have a bias when, rather than being neutral, we have a preference for (or aversion to) a person or group of people. Thus, we use the term “implicit bias” to describe when we have attitudes towards people or associate stereotypes with them without our conscious knowledge.”

“Implicit or unconscious bias operates outside of the person’s awareness and can be in direct contradiction to a person’s espoused beliefs and values. What is so dangerous about implicit bias is that it automatically seeps into a person’s affect or behavior and is outside of the full awareness of that person. Implicit bias can interfere with clinical assessment, decision-making, and provider-patient relationships such that the health goals that the provider and patient are seeking are compromised.”

“Also known as unconscious or hidden bias, implicit biases are negative associations that people unknowingly hold. They are expressed automatically, without conscious awareness. Many studies have indicated that implicit biases affect individuals’ attitudes and actions, thus creating real-world implications, even though individuals may not even be aware that those biases exist within themselves. Notably, implicit biases have been shown to trump individuals’ stated commitments to equality and fairness, thereby producing behavior that diverges from the explicit attitudes that many people profess. The Implicit Association Test (IAT) is often used to measure implicit biases with regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, and other topics.”

  • Discrimination

“The unequal allocation of goods, resources, and services, and the limitation of access to full participation in society based on individual membership in a particular social group; reinforced by law, policy, and cultural norms that allow for differential treatment on the basis of identity.”

  • Profiling

“any action undertaken for reasons of safety, security or public protection that relies on stereotypes about race, colour, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, or place of origin rather than on reasonable suspicion, to single out an individual for greater scrutiny or different treatment. The Commission has noted that profiling can occur because of a combination of the above factors and that age and/or gender can influence the experience of profiling….racial profiling differs from criminal profiling which isn’t based on stereotypes but rather relies on actual behaviour or on information about suspected activity by someone who meets the description of a specific individual. In other words, criminal profiling is not the same as racial profiling since the former is based on objective evidence of wrongful behaviour while racial profiling is based on stereotypical assumptions.”

  • Oppression

“The systematic subjugation of one social group by a more powerful social group for the social, economic, and political benefit of the more powerful social group. Rita Hardiman and Bailey Jackson state that oppression exists when the following 4 conditions are found:

  1. the oppressor group has the power to define reality for themselves and others,

  2. the target groups take in and internalize the negative messages about them and end up cooperating with the oppressors (thinking and acting like them),

  3. genocide, harassment, and discrimination are systematic and institutionalized, so that individuals are not necessary to keep it going, and,

  4. members of both the oppressor and target groups are socialized to play their roles as normal and correct.

Oppression = Power + Prejudice”

  • Colonization

“some form of invasion, dispossession and subjugation of a people. The invasion need not be military; it can begin—or continue—as geographical intrusion in the form of agricultural, urban or industrial encroachments. The result of such incursion is the dispossession of vast amounts of lands from the original inhabitants. This is often legalized after the fact. The long-term result of such massive dispossession is institutionalized inequality. The colonizer/colonized relationship is by nature an unequal one that benefits the colonizer at the expense of the colonized.”

  • Hate Crime

“Hate crime legislation often defines a hate crime as a crime motivated by the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation of any person.”

  • Genocide

“genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

  • Killing members of the group;

  • Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

  • Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

  • Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

  • Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

Terms that describe movements/concepts to end racism:

“A political movement to address systemic and state violence against African Americans. Per the Black Lives Matter organizers: “In 2013, three radical Black organizers—Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi—created a Black-centered political will and movement building project called #BlackLivesMatter. It was in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer, George Zimmerman. The project is now a member-led global network of more than 40 chapters. [Black Lives Matter] members organize and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. Black Lives Matter is an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise. It is an affirmation of Black folks’ humanity, our contributions to this society, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression.””

  • Abolition

“the act of abolishing or the state of being abolished:the act of abolishing or the state of being abolished”

  • Abolitionist

“a person who advocated or supported the abolition of slavery in the U.S.; a person who favors the abolition of any law or practice deemed harmful to society”

  • Representation

“Media representations are the ways in which the media portrays particular groups, communities, experiences, ideas, or topics from a particular ideological or value perspective. Rather than examining media representations as simply reflecting or mirroring "reality," we examine how media representations serve to "re-present" or to actually create a new reality.”

  • Diversity

“ includes all the ways in which people differ, and it encompasses all the different characteristics that make one individual or group different from another. It is all-inclusive and recognizes everyone and every group as part of the diversity that should be valued. A broad definition includes not only race, ethnicity, and gender—the groups that most often come to mind when the term "diversity" is used—but also age, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language, and physical appearance. It also involves different ideas, perspectives, and values. It is important to note that many activists and thinkers critique diversity alone as a strategy. For instance, Baltimore Racial Justice Action states: “Diversity is silent on the subject of equity. In an anti-oppression context, therefore, the issue is not diversity, but rather equity. Often when people talk about diversity, they are thinking only of the “non-dominant” groups.””

  • Inclusion

“Authentically bringing traditionally excluded individuals and/or groups into processes, activities, and decision/policy making in a way that shares power.”

  • Integration

“Racial integration, or simply integration, includes desegregation (the process of ending systematic racial segregation). In addition to desegregation, integration includes goals such as leveling barriers to association, creating equal opportunity regardless of race, and the development of a culture that draws on diverse traditions, rather than merely bringing a racial minority into the majority culture. Desegregation is largely a legal matter, integration largely a social one.”

  • Assimilation

“ A process by which outsiders (persons who are others by virtue of cultural heritage, gender, age, religious background, and so forth) are brought into, or made to take on the existing identity of the group into which they are being assimilated. The term has had a negative connotation in recent educational literature, imposing coercion and a failure to recognize and value diversity. It is also understood as a survival technique for individuals or groups.”

  • Assimilationist

“One who is expressing the racist idea that a racial group is culturally or behaviorally inferior and is supporting cultural or behavioral enrichment programs to develop that racial group.”

  • Equality

“A state of affairs in which all people within a specific society or isolated group have the same status in certain respects, including civil rights, freedom of speech, property rights and equal access to certain social goods and services.”

  • Equity

“Takes into consideration the fact that the social identifiers (race, gender, socioeconomic status, etc.) do, in fact, affect equality. In an equitable environment, an individual or a group would be given what was needed to give them equal advantage. This would not necessarily be equal to what others were receiving. It could be more or different. Equity is an ideal and a goal, not a process. It insures that everyone has the resources they need to succeed.”

  • Reparations

“States have a legal duty to acknowledge and address widespread or systematic human rights violations, in cases where the state caused the violations or did not seriously try to prevent them. Reparations initiatives seek to address the harms caused by these violations. They can take the form of compensating for the losses suffered, which helps overcome some of the consequences of abuse. They can also be future oriented—providing rehabilitation and a better life to victims—and help to change the underlying causes of abuse. Reparations publicly affirm that victims are rights-holders entitled to redress.”

  • Decolonization

“Decolonization may be defined as the active resistance against colonial powers, and a shifting of power towards political, economic, educational, cultural, psychic independence and power that originate from a colonized nation’s own indigenous culture. This process occurs politically and also applies to personal and societal psychic, cultural, political, agricultural, and educational deconstruction of colonial oppression.

Per Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang: “Decolonization doesn’t have a synonym”; it is not a substitute for ‘human rights’ or ‘social justice’, though undoubtedly, they are connected in various ways. Decolonization demands an Indigenous framework and a centering of Indigenous land, Indigenous sovereignty, and Indigenous ways of thinking.”

  • Critical Race Theory

“movement considers many of the same issues that conventional civil rights and ethnic studies take up, but places them in a broader perspective that includes economics, history, and even feelings and the unconscious. Unlike traditional civil rights, which embraces incrementalism and step by step progress, critical race theory questions the very foundations of the liberal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism, and principles of constitutional law.”

  • Affirmative Action

“Affirmative action” means positive steps taken to increase the representation of women and minorities in areas of employment, education, and culture from which they have been historically excluded. When those steps involve preferential selection—selection on the basis of race, gender, or ethnicity—affirmative action generates intense controversy.”

  • Restorative Justice

“theory of justice that emphasizes repairing the harm caused by crime and conflict. It places decisions in the hands of those who have been most affected by a wrongdoing, and gives equal concern to the victim, the offender, and the surrounding community. Restorative responses are meant to repair harm, heal broken relationships, and address the underlying reasons for the offense. Restorative Justice emphasizes individual and collective accountability. Crime and conflict generate opportunities to build community and increase grassroots power when restorative practices are employed.”

  • Cultural Pluralism

“Recognition of the contribution of each group to a common civilization. It encourages the maintenance and development of different life styles, languages and convictions. It is a commitment to deal cooperatively with common concerns. It strives to create the conditions of harmony and respect within a culturally diverse society.”

  • Multiculturalism

“a situation in which all the different cultural or racial groups in a society have equal rights and opportunities, and none is ignored or regarded as unimportant.”

Terms that describe the perpetuation of racism:

  • Overt Racism

“Overt racism or explicit racism is the intentional and/or obvious harmful attitudes or behaviors towards another minority individual or group because of the color of his/her skin (Elias, 2015).....Overt racist actions are those that are the easiest to see and describe as racism, unlike the more insidious, or covert forms of racism.

  • Includes any speech or behaviors that demonstrate a conscious acknowledgement of racist attitudes and beliefs.

  • Rooted in white supremacy ideology, which it seeks to reinforce and maintain

  • Distinguished by blatant use of negative attitudes, ideas, actions directed at nonwhite racial groups

  • Can be practiced by individuals, groups, institutions, and across societies

  • With the rise of the civil rights movement and passage of civil rights protections, overt racism has become largely taboo in American society.”

  • Covert Racism

“Covert racism is racial discrimination that is concealed or subtle rather than obvious or public (Coates & Morrison, 2011).

  • Acts to subvert, distort, restrict, and deny racial minorities access to societal privileges and benefits

  • A key feature of covert racism is that its disguised nature allows perpetrators to claim "plausible deniability" and to essentially gaslight their victims, that is to deny that the act was racist and undermine any claim of harm

  • May be implicit as a result of unconscious bias that exist within an individual, regardless of ill-will or any self-aware prejudices”

  • Ethnocentricity

“Ethnocentricity is the belief that your own cultural or ethnic group is superior to that of another.”

  • Euro-Centric

“The inclination to consider European culture as normative. While the term does not imply an attitude of superiority….most use the term with a clear awareness of the historic oppressiveness of Eurocentric tendencies in U.S and European society.”

  • Racialization

“the very complex and contradictory process through which groups come to be designated as being of a particular “race” and on that basis subjected to differential and/or unequal treatment. Put simply, “racialization [is] the process of manufacturing and utilizing the notion of race in any capacity” (Dalal, 2002, p. 27). While white people are also racialized, this process is often rendered invisible or normative to those designated as white. As a result, white people may not see themselves as part of a race but still maintain the authority to name and racialize “others.””

  • Bigotry

“Intolerant prejudice that glorifies one’s own group and denigrates members of other groups.”

  • Xenophobia

“Hatred or fear of foreigners/strangers or of their politics or culture.”

  • Settler Colonialism

“refers to colonization in which colonizing powers create permanent or long-term settlement on land owned and/or occupied by other peoples, often by force. This contrasts with colonialism where colonizer’s focus only on extracting resources back to their countries of origin, for example. Settler Colonialism typically includes oppressive governance, dismantling of indigenous cultural forms, and enforcement of codes of superiority (such as white supremacy). Examples include white European occupations of land in what is now the United States, Spain’s settlements throughout Latin America, and the Apartheid government established by White Europeans in South Africa.”

  • Scapegoating

“The action of blaming an individual or group for something when, in reality, there is no one person or group responsible for the problem. It targets another person or group as responsible for problems in society because of that person’s group identity.”

  • Cultural Appropriation

“Theft of cultural elements—including symbols, art, language, customs, etc.—for one’s own use, commodification, or profit, often without understanding, acknowledgement,or respect for its value in the original culture. Results from the assumption of a dominant (i.e. white) culture’s right to take other cultural elements.”

  • Racial Fetishization

“sexually fetishizing a person or culture belonging to a specific race or ethnic group”

  • White Supremacy

“The idea (ideology) that white people and the ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and actions of white people are superior to People of Color and their ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and actions. While most people associate white supremacy with extremist groups like the Ku Klux Klan and the neo-Nazis, white supremacy is ever present in our institutional and cultural assumptions that assign value, morality, goodness, and humanity to the white group while casting people and communities of color as worthless (worth less), immoral, bad, and inhuman and “undeserving.” Drawing from critical race theory, the term “white supremacy” also refers to a political or socio-economic system where white people enjoy structural advantage and rights that other racial and ethnic groups do not, both at a collective and an individual level.”

  • White Supremacy Culture

“refers to the dominant, unquestioned standards of behavior and ways of functioning embodied by the vast majority of institutions in the United States. These standards may be seen as mainstream, dominant cultural practices; they have evolved from the United States’ history of white supremacy. Because it is so normalized it can be hard to see, which only adds to its powerful hold. In many ways, it is indistinguishable from what we might call U.S. culture or norms – a focus on individuals over groups, for example, or an emphasis on the written word as a form of professional communication. But it operates in even more subtle ways, by actually defining what “normal” is – and likewise, what “professional,” “effective,” or even “good” is. In turn, white culture also defines what is not good, “at risk,” or “unsustainable.” White culture values some ways of thinking, behaving, deciding, and knowing – ways that are more familiar and come more naturally to those from a white, western tradition – while devaluing or rendering invisible other ways. And it does this without ever having to explicitly say so...

An artificial, historically constructed culture which expresses, justifies, and binds together the United States white supremacy system. It is the glue that binds together white-controlled institutions into systems and white-controlled systems into the global white supremacy system.“

  • Privilege

“Unearned access to resources (social power) that are only readily available to some people because of their social group membership; an advantage, or immunity granted to or enjoyed by one societal group above and beyond the common advantage of all other groups. Privilege is often invisible to those who have it.”

  • White Privilege

“Refers to the unquestioned and unearned set of advantages, entitlements, benefits and choices bestowed on people solely because they are white. Generally white people who experience such privilege do so without being conscious of it.”

  • Structural White Privilege

“A system of white domination that creates and maintains belief systems that make current racial advantages and disadvantages seem normal. The system includes powerful incentives for maintaining white privilege and its consequences, and powerful negative consequences for trying to interrupt white privilege or reduce its consequences in meaningful ways. The system includes internal and external manifestations at the individual, interpersonal, cultural and institutional levels. The accumulated and interrelated advantages and disadvantages of white privilege that are reflected in racial/ethnic inequities in life-expectancy and other health outcomes, income and wealth, and other outcomes, in part through different access to opportunities and resources. These differences are maintained in part by denying that these advantages and disadvantages exist at the structural, institutional, cultural, interpersonal, and individual levels and by refusing to redress them or eliminate the systems, policies, practices, cultural norms, and other behaviors and assumptions that maintain them.”

  • Interpersonal White Privilege

“Behavior between people that consciously or unconsciously reflects white superiority or entitlement.”

  • Cultural White Privilege

“A set of dominant cultural assumptions about what is good, normal or appropriate that reflects Western European white world views and dismisses or demonizes other world views.”

  • Institutional White Privilege

“Policies, practices and behaviors of institutions—such as schools, banks, non-profits or the Supreme Court—that have the effect of maintaining or increasing accumulated advantages for those groups currently defined as white, and maintaining or increasing disadvantages for those racial or ethnic groups not defined as white. The ability of institutions to survive and thrive even when their policies, practices and behaviors maintain, expand or fail to redress accumulated disadvantages and/or inequitable outcomes for people of color.”

  • Collusion

“When people act to perpetuate oppression or prevent others from working to eliminate oppression. “

  • Denial

“Refusal to acknowledge the societal privileges (see the term "privilege") that are granted or denied based on an individual's ethnicity or other grouping. Those who are in a stage of denial tend to believe, "People are people. We are all alike regardless of the color of our skin." In this way, the existence of a hierarchical system or privileges based on ethnicity or race can be ignored.”

  • Microaggression

“The everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.”

  • Racial Gaslighting

“Gaslighting is a manipulation technique in which one party psychologically undermines another by making them question their own sanity and reality. Racial gaslighting, in particular, underplays and belittles the reactions, responses, and feelings of BIPOC. It might sound like, “It’s just a joke, you’re being too sensitive,” or “Not everything is about color,” or “You’re overreacting—what I said isn’t racist.””

  • White Fragility

“A state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable [for white people], triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium.”

  • White Silence

“ complacency and inaction when witnessing racism, sometimes compounded by feeling that a white person isn’t qualified to speak out about what’s racist.“By opting to ‘let the experts’ take on this fight for humanity, you are opting out and essentially co-signing off on whatever happens to other humans,”“

  • White Centering

“when a white person prioritizes their feelings and experiences over the lives of Black individuals.”

  • Color Blindness

“The belief in treating everyone “equally” by treating everyone the same; based on the presumption that differences are by definition bad or problematic, and therefore best ignored”

  • Reverse Racism Myth

““The ‘reverse racism’ card is often pulled by white people when people of color call out racism and discrimination, or create spaces for themselves … that white people aren’t a part of. The impulse behind the reverse racism argument seems to be a desire to prove that people of color don’t have it that bad, they’re not the only ones that are put at a disadvantage or targeted because of their race.” ….While assumptions and stereotypes about white people do exist, they are considered racial prejudice, not racism. racial prejudice can indeed be directed at white people (e.g., “White people can’t dance”) but is not considered racism because of the systemic relationship to power. When backed with power, prejudice results in acts of discrimination and oppression against groups or individuals”

  • Model Minority Myth

“A term created by sociologist William Peterson to describe the Japanese community, whom he saw as being able to overcome oppression because of their cultural values.

While individuals employing the Model Minority trope may think they are being complimentary, in fact the term is related to colorism and its root, anti-Blackness. The model minority myth creates an understanding of ethnic groups, including Asian Americans, as a monolith, or as a mass whose parts cannot be distinguished from each other. The model minority myth can be understood as a tool that white supremacy uses to pit people of color against each other in order to protect its status.”

  • Tokenism

“Hiring or seeking to have representation such as a few women and/or racial or ethnic minority persons so as to appear inclusive while remaining mono-cultural.”

  • Erasure

“the act of erasing, co-opting, stealing, and appropriating the ideas of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) folks, and it often happens without attribution or credit to the original concept.”

  • Respectability Politics

“a set of beliefs holding that conformity to prescribed mainstream standards of appearance and behavior will protect a person who is part of a marginalized group, especially a Black person, from prejudices and systemic injustices”

  • All Lives Matter

“One of the largest misconceptions surrounding the BLM movement is that its supporters believe that only black lives are important….When the phrase “All Lives Matter” is used in response to the BLM movement, it essentially ignores the systemic racism that black people face….“All Lives Matter” fails to acknowledge that society doesn’t consider black lives to fall under the same umbrella as “all lives” — which often gets translated into just “white lives.”...the phrase takes away from the root of the problem that the Black Lives Matter movement is trying to change and instead supports the system of power already in place.”

  • Myth of Meritocracy

“Meritocracy is a social system in which success and status in life depend primarily on individual talents, abilities, and effort. It is a social system in which people advance on the basis of their merits.”

“Myth of meritocracy is a phrase arguing that meritocracy, or achieving upward social mobility through one's own merits regardless of one's social position, is not widely attainable in capitalist societies because of inherent contradictions.[1] Meritocracy is argued to be a myth because, despite being promoted as an open and accessible method of achieving upward class mobility under neoliberal or free market capitalism, wealth disparity and limited class mobility remain widespread, regardless of individual work ethic.”

  • Spiritual Bypassing

“tendency to use spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep or avoid facing unresolved emotional issues, psychological wounds, and unfinished developmental tasks….Aspects of spiritual bypassing include exaggerated detachment, emotional numbing and repression, overemphasis on the positive, anger-phobia, blind or overly tolerant compassion, weak or too porous boundaries, lopsided development (cognitive intelligence often being far ahead of emotional and moral intelligence), debilitating judgment about one’s negativity or shadow elements, devaluation of the personal relative to the spiritual, and delusions of having arrived at a higher level of being.”

  • Victim Blaming

“Victim blaming occurs when the victim of a crime or any wrongful act is held entirely or partially at fault for the harm that befell them…. The study of victimology seeks to mitigate the prejudice against victims, and the perception that victims are in any way responsible for the actions of offenders.”

“Victim-blaming is cloaked in kindness and concern, and bears all the trappings and statistical furbelows of scientism; it is obscured by a perfumed haze of humanitarianism. In observing the process of Blaming the Victim, one tends to be confused and disoriented because those who practice this art display a deep concern for the victims that is quite genuine. In this way, the new ideology is very different from the open prejudice and reactionary tactics of the old days….What they do is find a characteristic that a group of people share, (race, socioeconomic status, and such) and use it as the cause of their “disfunction.””

  • Bootstrap Theory

“The bootstrap myth says that all people, even if they face poor and meager circumstances at birth, can "pull themselves up by their bootstraps" to attain great wealth and prosperity. The metaphor, whose first known use occurred in the early 1800s, originally described a far-fetched attempt at an impossible feat. But by the 20th century, the phrase had gained its modern, bullish meaning of succeeding with unaided effort, despite hardship.”,attempt%20at%20an%20impossible%20feat.

  • Tone Policing

“Tone policing (also tone trolling, tone argument, and tone fallacy) is an ad hominem (personal attack) and anti-debate tactic based on criticizing a person for expressing emotion. Tone policing detracts from the validity of a statement by attacking the tone in which it was presented rather than the message itself”

  • Post Racial

“characterized by the absence of racial discord, discrimination, or prejudice previously or historically present:”

“suggests that we live in a country in which racial preference, prejudice, and discrimination do not exist; that we live in a country that treats everyone equally, offers every person the same opportunities, and does not judge an individual by the color of their skin.”

  • White Saviorism

“ refers to a white person who provides help to non-white people in a self-serving manner. “

“refers to an idea in which a white person, or white culture, rescues people of color from their own situation. Throughout the white savior’s journey they themselves are centered: they are often portrayed as messianic and tend to “learn something” about themselves in the process of rescuing others.This trope in commonly seen in movies and literature in Western society, and is reinforced by our own educational system, media, movements, religious and nonprofit sector in America as well as our foreign policy views toward the rest of the world.”

  • Paternalism

“action that limits a person's or group's liberty or autonomy and is intended to promote their own good.[1] Paternalism can also imply that the behavior is against or regardless of the will of a person, or also that the behavior expresses an attitude of superiority.[2] Paternalism, paternalistic and paternalist have all been used as a pejorative”

  • Anti Anti-racism

“A conservative anti-racism stance, a belief that anti-racism is not needed, and it is often expressed in the form of rhetorical strategies.”

Terms relating specifically to topics relating to policing:

  • Police Brutality

“Police brutality is the use of excessive or unnecessary force by personnel affiliated with law enforcement duties when dealing with suspects and civilians. The term is also applied to abuses by corrections personnel in municipal, state, and federal penal facilities, including military prisons….The term police brutality is usually applied in the context of causing physical harm to a person. It may also involve psychological harm through the use of intimidation tactics beyond the scope of officially sanctioned police procedure. From the 18th-20th centuries, those who engaged in police brutality may have acted with the implicit approval of the local legal system, such as during the Civil Rights Movement era. In the contemporary era, individuals who engage in police brutality may do so with the tacit approval of their superiors or they may be rogue officers. In either case, they may perpetrate their actions under color of law and, more often than not, engage in a subsequent cover-up of their unlawful activity.”

  • Police Reform

“Police reform comprises a vast complex of institu- tions and agencies across the political spectrum that share a narrative of police as an essential if occasionally flawed institution that requires total respect but occasional tinkering. When crises in police legiti- macy strike—often in the aftermath of dramatic and popular protests against spectacular or long-standing patterns of racialized police violence against the poor—the various actors and agencies of police reform mobilize.”,of%20the%20legitimacy%20of%20police.&text=The%20public%20misunderstands%20police%20and,which%20is%20temporary%20and%20individual.

  • “Black-on-Black Crime” Fallacy

“Oftentimes when people bring up Black-On-Black crime, they are implying that Black people are more violent towards each other than any other race. This is wrong because nearly every race is likely to be killed by their own due to proximity”

““Black on Black crime” has long been a cudgel against Black people — a rationale for defunding public resources, increasing funding in police departments, and justifying why Blackness is an adequate pretext for officers “fearing for their lives.” The implication of the “Black on Black violence” rhetoric places personal responsibility for solving long-standing systemic issues at the feet of communities affected by them. It asks everyday citizens (who have an iota of the resources the state has) to fix issues that should be addressed with policy. It assumes that the solution is having the majority of Black people police their communities instead of putting officers in jail when they commit murder. And it makes the wrongful connection between Blackness and criminality.”

  • School to Prison Pipeline

“ the disproportionate tendency of minors and young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds to become incarcerated because of increasingly harsh school and municipal policies, as well as because of educational inequality in the United States. Many experts have credited factors such as school disturbance laws, zero tolerance policies and practices, and an increase in police in schools in creating the pipeline.[1] This has become a hot topic of debate in discussions surrounding educational disciplinary policies as media coverage of youth violence and mass incarceration has grown during the early 21st century”,of%20increasingly%20harsh%20school%20and

“reallocating or redirecting funding away from the police department to other government agencies funded by the local municipality….Different from abolishing and starting anew, defunding police highlights fiscal responsibility, advocates for a market-driven approach to taxpayer money, and has some potential benefits that will reduce police violence and crime. “

“Abolish ICE is a political movement that proposes abolition of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)”....Immigration and Customs Enforcement was created in 2003, as part of the newly formed U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The agency's young age has been a point of discussion, with proponents of Abolish ICE arguing that the United States can easily do without an agency that has only existed for less than twenty years”,Trump%20administration%20family%20separation%20policy.

  • Qualified Immunity

“Qualified immunity is a judicially created doctrine that shields government officials from being held personally liable for constitutional violations—like the right to be free from excessive police force—for money damages under federal law so long as the officials did not violate “clearly established” law. “

  • Looting and Rioting

“Rioting :a noisy, violent public disorder caused by a group or crowd of persons, as by a crowd protesting against another group, a government policy, etc., in the streets.”

“Loot: spoils or plunder taken by pillaging”

“Language choices matter: The term "riot" is loaded, and it's why many use "rebellion," instead….The term 'riot' tends to connote a senseless venting of frustration, of destroying your own community and all these other things that are counterproductive, as if there couldn't be political value in urban unrest and forcing the system to examine itself….the term "looting" minimizes the political implications of what people are doing when they rob stores.”

Terms relating to activism:

  • Activism

“the use of direct and noticeable action to achieve a result, usually a political or social one;the use of direct and public methods to try to bring about esp. social and political changes that you and others want”

  • Advocacy

“To publicly support a policy or cause and to advocate for its legal adoption and use.”

  • Performative Activism

“a pejorative term referring to activism done to increase one's social capital rather than because of one's devotion to a cause. It is often associated with surface-level activism”,activism%2C%20referred%20to%20as%20slacktivism.

  • Hashtag Activism

“ a term coined by media outlets which refers to the use of Twitter’s hashtags for online activism. The term can also be used to refer to the act of showing support for a cause through a like, share, and etcetera, on any social media platform, such as Facebook or Twitter. The term is used to refer to the use of hashtags on multiple social media platforms to plan marches and protests, share stories, connect communities, and ultimately, drive social change.”,such%20as%20Facebook%20or%20Twitter.

  • Ally

“Someone who makes the commitment and effort to recognize their privilege (based on gender, class, race, sexual identity, etc.) and work in solidarity with oppressed groups in the struggle for justice. Allies understand that it is in their own interest to end all forms of oppression, even those from which they may benefit in concrete ways. Allies commit to reducing their own complicity or collusion in oppression of those groups and invest in strengthening their own knowledge and awareness of oppression.”

  • Accountability

“In the context of racial equity work, accountability refers to the ways in which individuals and communities hold themselves to their goals and actions, and acknowledge the values and groups to which they are responsible. To be accountable, one must be visible, with a transparent agenda and process. Invisibility defies examination; it is, in fact, employed in order to avoid detection and examination. Accountability demands commitment. It might be defined as “what kicks in when convenience runs out.” Accountability requires some sense of urgency and becoming a true stakeholder in the outcome. Accountability can be externally imposed (legal or organizational requirements), or internally applied (moral, relational, faith-based, or recognized as some combination of the two) on a continuum from the institutional and organizational level to the individual level. From a relational point of view, accountability is not always doing it right. Sometimes it’s really about what happens after it’s done wrong.”

  • Multicultural Competency

“A process of learning about and becoming allies with people from other cultures, thereby broadening our own understanding and ability to participate in a multicultural process. The key element to becoming more culturally competent is respect for the ways that others live in and organize the world and an openness to learn from them.”

  • Intersectionality

“Exposing [one’s] multiple identities can help clarify the ways in which a person can simultaneously experience privilege and oppression. For example, a Black woman in America does not experience gender inequalities in exactly the same way as a white woman, nor racial oppression identical to that experienced by a Black man. Each race and gender intersection produces a qualitatively distinct life. Per Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw: Intersectionality is simply a prism to see the interactive effects of various forms of discrimination and disempowerment. It looks at the way that racism, many times, interacts with patriarchy, heterosexism, classism, xenophobia — seeing that the overlapping vulnerabilities created by these systems actually create specific kinds of challenges. “Intersectionality 102,” then, is to say that these distinct problems create challenges for movements that are only organized around these problems as separate and individual. So when racial justice doesn’t have a critique of patriarchy and homophobia, the particular way that racism is experienced and exacerbated by heterosexism, classism etc., falls outside of our political organizing. It means that significant numbers of people in our communities aren’t being served by social justice frames because they don’t address the particular ways that they’re experiencing discrimination.”

  • "Isms"

“A way of describing any attitude, action or institutional structure that subordinates (oppresses) a person or group because of their target group, color (racism), gender (sexism), economic status (classism), older age (ageism), religion (e.g., anti-Semitism), sexual orientation (heterosexism), language/immigrant status (xenophobism), etc.”

Terms relating to understanding the experience of BIPOC Individuals:

  • Racial Trauma

“Racial trauma is a reaction to experiences of racism, including violence or humiliation. You might also hear it referred to as race-based trauma or race-based traumatic stress.

All types of trauma, including racial trauma, can contribute to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a mental health condition marked by a range of mental and physical effects. Given how rampant racism is, it’s nearly impossible for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) to avoid some level of racial trauma.”

  • Racial Healing

“To restore to health or soundness; to repair or set right; to restore to spiritual wholeness.”

  • Racial Identity Development Theory

“discusses how people in various racial groups and with multiracial identities form their particular self-concept. It also describes some typical phases in remaking that identity based on learning and awareness of systems of privilege and structural racism, cultural, and historical meanings attached to racial categories, and factors operating in the larger socio-historical level (e.g. globalization, technology, immigration, and increasing multiracial population).”

  • African American Vernacular English (AAVE)

“African American Vernacular English (AAVE) is a variety of American English spoken by many African Americans. It has been called by many other names that are sometimes offensive, including African American English, Black English, Black English vernacular, ebonics, negro dialect, nonstandard negro English, Black talk, Blaccent, or Blackcent.

AAVE originated in the plantations of the American South, where African people were enslaved to work, and it shares a number of phonological and grammatical features with southern dialects of American English. Many African Americans are bi-dialectal in AAVE and Standard American English.“

  • Code-Switching

“code-switching is where the speaker alternates between two or more languages, language varieties, or informal mixtures of language – all within a single conversation. But language is just one element of the concept. The wider understanding of code-switching now includes any behaviour of adapting to fit a new set of rules – and that is not limited to speech….People of colour feel the need to code-switch in more situations than white people because the unwritten rules of many social situations are dictated by white experiences.”

Terms and historical concepts to study and do more research on:

  • Pre-Europian Native Migration

  • First Nation People

  • Manifest Destiny

  • Patriarchy

  • Land Acquisition

  • Slavery

  • Abolition Movements

  • Civil War

  • Emancipation Proclamation

  • Reconstruction

  • Share Cropping

  • Civil Rights

  • 13th Amendment Critique

  • Redlining

  • Housing Discrimination

  • A New Jim Crow

  • War of Drugs

  • Capitalism

  • Christian Nationalism

How to be Anti-Racist:

  • Look Inside - You must make a conscious effort to first change how YOU think, behave, and feel towards issues regarding racism. This requires introspection and unlearning negative beliefs about race.

  • Take Action - Changing your mind or agreeing internally is not enough, take action to become an ally, advocate, and Anti-Racist.

  • Volunteer - Find organizations to volunteer with that promote Anti-Racism.

  • Shop - Make a deliberate change in how you spend money and what you financially support.

  • Support - Actively support policy changes, social campaigns, and activists that are leading Anti-Racist movements.

  • Share - Actively engage with others and use your privilege and power to stand up against racism.

  • Amplify - Prioritize Black voices, Share resources from BIPOC individuals doing the work of Anti-Racism. Do not center non-Black ideologies over Black voices.

  • Keep Learning - There isn’t an end to this work. Commit to keep learning and being open to changing your perspective.

  • Stand Up - It is not enough to agree with Anti-Racism work but not voice your agreement. It is not enough to disagree with racism and not stand up against it when it is happening.


Race-oriented websites/Anti-Racism Education Resources:

Resources on specific topics:


***I am not an expert and so I tried to share as many definitions as they are understood by experts and not by non-experts. As definitions change, either culturally or as they are used differently or if they need a better explanation, i will do my best to edit and add those changes. If any definition is not sufficient please send me an email and I can correct it.

*** There are MANY MANY MANY more resource lists out there and many more definitions that are important to understand. This is a basic list that can be useful to begin the journey of understanding Racism and Anti-Racism but it is not exhaustive. Please continue seeking resources and a better understanding of these concepts.

***There are websites and people that focus on sharing a misconstrued/intentionally incorrect information regarding topics of Race, Black History, and Anti-Racist movements. Please be careful and take into consideration WHO is speaking and for WHAT reason. Prioritize individuals that are DOING Anti-Racism work and do not fall prey to tokenizing BIPOC individuals that may have differing views.

***This is not a full list, please send me more things to add. I am particularly looking for lists of resources, articles that detail conflicts betweens concepts, and articles that give context and examples.

***I have created a Google Document with all of this information for you to access and share if you would like to be able to share a non-branded version of this list. Feel free to copy and add to it and use as you please.

This is the link :

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