Uprooting Inequity LLC offers evidence-based seminars on the history, economics, and psychology of racism. My presentations include primary and secondary historical evidence, data, quantitative maps, research studies and original diagrams/images, and each session represents 300-400 hours of research, synthesis, and graphic design work. I pride myself on being able to break down grad-school-level social science research, data, and abstract concepts into engaging, easily comprehensible narrative and visuals. (Sample of my slides here.)
Aside from teaching this content, I also trains educators on how to teach about historical and structural racism (pedagogy). She is writing a book on her “ProEquity Framework” (teaser slide deck; blog post overview), an evidence-based K-12 instructional approach that prepares students to work together across differences in ideology and privilege to analyze the root causes of societal challenges and develop equitable policy solutions that promote the common good.
Downloadable PDF description of all my seminars and trainings here. All seminars consist of a 90-minute presentation (including a 5-min Q&A break) followed by an optional 1-hour discussion. I provide an outline of each seminar (Word doc) to facilitate note-taking. At the conclusion of each seminar, I send a follow-up email to participants with a watermarked PDF copy of the presentation, a summary of the main ideas, and links to follow-up resources. The seminars in the history of racism series build on each other conceptually and chronologically and should be taken in succession.
Seminar Series on the History of Anti-Black Racism in the U.S.:
- History of Racism #1. The Origins of Race and Racism (1619-1800s)
- History of Racism #2. The Reproduction of Racism 1865-2000: Part A
- History of Racism #3. The Reproduction of Racism 1865-2000: Part B
- History of Racism #2/#3 (hybrid). The Reproduction of Racism
- History of Racism #4. How Contemporary Structural Racism Works
- History of Racism #5. Lessons Learned and Directions Forward: Towards an Equitable “We” Society
Stand-Alone Seminars and Trainings:
- A short history of Latinx Racialization
- A short history of Asian Racialization
- Conflict and Cooperation Across Racial Groups
- The ProEquity Model: An Equity-Based and Perspective-Consciousness and Equity-Based Approach to Teaching about Racism
History of Racism #1. The Origins of Race and Racism (1619-1800s)
This first seminar in the history of racism series answers the questions “How and why were the Black and White races developed” and “How and why was anti-Black Racism developed?” I trace the historical evolution of the social construction of race from the early colonial period when the colonies were still a class-based society like in England, through the middle colonial period when the Black-White racial binary and a race-based caste system was constructed through laws. Through the primary source evidence, we learn that racism did not lead to slavery, but rather, slavery lead to racism. I also present evidence to demonstrate that racism–the myth of Black racial inferiority–was the narrative that white elites/slave owners created (“the story we tell”) to both rationalize slavery (economic interests) and divide poor Whites and Blacks (political interests). 90-minute presentation followed by a 30-minute Q&A.
History of Racism #2. The Reproduction of Racism Part A: The Conceptual Framework (1865-2000)
This second seminar in the history of racism series answers the questions “Why has there been so little progress in racial economic equity in the 57 years since the Civil Rights Act?” and “Why do most Americans so vastly overestimate racial economic progress?” I construct a conceptual framework that identifies dynamics that repeat over our history of racism. White resistance to racial progress—not just explicit white backlash but also covert resistance such as ‘opportunity hoarding’—has led to the recurring reproduction of racism in new forms, the stymying of initiatives to repair historical discrimination, and the development of greatly overestimated myths of racial progress. Throughout our history, outlawed forms of racial discrimination have repeatedly been reproduced in more legally and morally acceptable forms: ostensibly “race-neutral” policies that have racially disparate impact. These policies have racially disparate impact because they are based on either geography or wealth, which are products of historical discrimination and thus act as proxies for race. 90-minute presentation followed by a 30-minute Q&A.
History of Racism #3. The Reproduction of Racism Part B: Historical Applications (1865-2000)
In this third seminar in the series on the history of racism I demonstrate how the conceptual framework outlined in the previous seminar was repeatedly reproduced over five major chapters in our history of racism: a. Forced Labor: convict leasing and debt peonage; b. Residential Segregation: FHA/VA mortgage discrimination, redlining and exclusionary zoning; c. School Segregation: G.I. Bill, school funding disparities, and loopholes and rollbacks in federal school desegregation orders; d. Voter Suppression: gutting of the Voting Rights Act; and e. Policing and Criminal Justice: The war on drugs and mass incarceration. 90-minute presentation followed by a 30-minute Q&A. Please note that seminar #2 is a prerequisite for this seminar.
History of Racism #2/#3. The Historical Reproduction of Racism (hybrid of seminars #2 and #3)
This hybrid/combo of seminars #2 and #3 answers the question “Why has there been so little progress in racial economic equity in the 57 years since the Civil Rights Act?” The civil rights acts were not nearly as effective as portrayed, because they never repaired the accumulated gains of past discrimination, which continue to impact the present through the racial wealth gap and residential and school segregation. Throughout U.S. history, prohibited forms of racial discrimination have repeatedly been reproduced in more legally and morally acceptable forms: ostensibly “race-neutral” policies that have racially disparate impact. These policies have racially disparate impacts because they are based on either wealth or geography, which are deeply impacted by historical discrimination, and thus act as proxies for race. I focus on reproduction of racism in housing discrimination (FHA/VA mortgage discrimination, redlining, exclusionary zoning), and in education discrimination (G.I. Bill, school funding disparities). This recurring reproduction of racism has been enabled by the conservative re-interpretation of “colorblindness,” which resulted in the Civil Rights Act being used solely to enforce racially disparate treatment, and not racially disparate impact (outcomes). 90-minute presentation followed by a 30-minute Q&A.
History of Racism #4. Structural Racism: Historical Roots and Contemporary Expressions
This presentation addresses the questions “What is structural racism and how does it work?” and “How does historical discrimination continue to impact the present?” First, I introduce the concept of structural racism using several metaphors, and explain the relationship between individual bias and structural racism. Next, I demonstrate how structural racism is rooted in the persistent legacies of historical discrimination: residential segregation and the racial wealth gap. Then, I illustrate how structural racism manifests in wealth accumulation, housing geography, HIV transmission, employment, and education (K-12 schools and college admissions). Finally, I provide an illustration of how structural racism in each of these institutions reinforce each other to produce profound disadvantages for low-income African Americans that shape and constrain their individual choices and behavior, that become more deeply entrenched over time and across generations, and that are specific to place (geography). 90-minute presentation followed by a 30-min Q&A.
Please note that seminar #3 (or #2/3) is a prerequisite for this seminar, as an understanding of the GI Bill, FHA/VA mortgage discrimination, and redlining is essential for understanding structural racism. However, I also offer a longer 2-hour version of this presentation on structural racism that includes an overview of this prerequisite historical knowledge.
History of Racism #5. Lessons Learned and Directions Forward: Towards an Equitable “We” Society
This workshop addresses the questions “What big lessons can we take away from our analysis of the history of anti-Black racism in the U.S.?” and “Given what we have learned, what are the most promising strategies for fostering an equitable “we” society?” I review and synthesize the principal lessons learned over the trajectory of this series, and based on these, identify several promising directions forward for increasing racial and economic equity. I also describe my “ProEquity” vision of a return to a “we” society (Putnam, 2021; McGhee, 2021), but this time to one that is inclusive and conscious of differences in perspectives and power. 90-minute presentation followed by a 30-minute Q&A. Please note that seminars #2, #3 (or #2/3) and #4 are prerequisites for this seminar.
A Short History of Latinx Racialization
This seminar addresses the question “How has Latinx identity been racialized and negotiated over time?” First, I provide an overview of Latinx demographics using Census data and maps. Then I trace the historical racialization of Latinx—both how society and state have racialized and categorized Latinx of different ethnicities and skin colors, and how individual Latinx have contested this racialization and negotiated their status in racial hierarchies. I trace these constantly shifting dynamics through four historical stages: 1. Under Spanish Under Spanish colonial rule, 2. in post-Independent Latin America, 3. Under United States colonialism, and 4. in the United States. I rely heavily on Laura E. Goméz’s 2020 book Inventing Latinos: A New Story of American Racism. 90-minute presentation followed by a 30-minute Q&A.
A Short History of Asian Racialization
This seminar addresses the question “How has Asian American identity been racialized and negotiated over time?” First, I provide an overview of Asian American demographics using Census data and maps. Second, I describe the roots of Asian racialization in the rise of “yellow peril” xenophobia against late 19th century Chinese immigrants. Then I explore differences in racialization among different Asian communities based on skin color and socioeconomic class. I also explore how Asians became “honorary whites” in part as a result of white conservatives using them (“racial mascotting”) to delegitimize claims of systemic racism against Blacks and systemic xenophobia against Latinx. Finally, I demonstrate how the precarious “honorary white” position of Asians often collapses in times of crisis, using the examples of Japanese internment, the murder of Vincent Chen, and the surge in anti-Asian violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. 90-minute presentation followed by a 30-minute Q&A.
Conflict and Cooperation Across Racial Groups
This seminar addresses the questions “When do racial groups conflict?” and “When do they cooperate across race?” Both conflict and cooperation across racial lines occur as part of the negotiation and contestation of relative positions in the racialized hierarchy. First, I describe how not only race, but also socioeconomic class and nativity (immigrant class) affect a group’s position on the racial hierarchy. Thus, not all Asians and Latinx are racialized the same. Then I explore when and how racial groups conflict. I then describe the social psychology of fostering interracial cooperation, by embracing an interdependent purpose and shared identity, while accommodating for subgroup differences in identity, power, history, and structural challenges. Finally, I review the most successful examples of interracial coalition and organization across U.S. history.
The ProEquity Instructional Model: A Civics-Based and Perspectives-Consciousness and Civics-Based Approach for Teaching About Racism and Inequity
ProEquity is a K-12 instructional approach for teaching about racism and inequity while fostering perspectives consciousness, civic skills and dispositions, and a shared “we” identity (teaser slide deck, blog post overview). It prepares students to work together across ideological and identity differences to analyze the root causes of societal challenges and develop equitable policy solutions that promote the common good.
The four components of the model are:
1. Distinguishing between settled empirical questions such as “Does systemic racism exist?” which should be analyzed rather than debated, versus open policy questions such as “What should government do about racism?” (e.g. affirmative action) which should be debated through civic discourse;
2. Using inquiry-based analysis to develop a rigorous understanding of historical and structural inequities such as structural racism;
3. Using “value tensions” to frame open policy questions as different prioritizations of universally held values on a continuum rather than as “right or wrong” opinions; and
4. Using “perspectives consciousness” to foster awareness of how one’s identities and experiences affect both one’s interpretation of evidence on empirical questions and one’s perspectives on policy issues. The latter helps foster a shared identity as a “we” society working towards the common good.
I also offer versions of this presentation that are specifically targeted to the needs of either history and social studies educators, or STEM and human geography educators.
Education clients include Packer Collegiate Institute, Chatham Hall, LREI, Ravenscroft School, Tabor Academy, Rocky Hill Country Day School, Stuyvesant High School, Colegio Anglo Colombiano (Bogota, Colombia), New Ulm Public Schools (MN), Twin Schools Sonoma County Schools (CA), Phillips Academy (Andover), UC Merced, Murray State University, UNC School of Medicine, and Université Côte d’Azur (Nice, France).
Other institutional clients include Math for America NYC, EdVisions, U Cincinnati Economics Center, National Children’s Hospital, Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence (MNADV), Brown University Club of DC, Duke University Club of NY, Critical Exposure, and Greater Atlantic Democratic Women.