Uprooting Inequity LLC offers evidence-based seminars on historical and structural racism. My presentations include primary and secondary historical evidence, data, quantitative maps, research studies and original diagrams, and each session represents 300-400 hours of research, synthesis, and graphic design work. I break down grad-school-level social science research, data, and abstract concepts into engaging, easily comprehensible narrative and visuals.
I also train educators on how to teach about historical and structural racism. My “ProEquity Framework” is an evidence-based K-12 instructional approach for teaching about structural racism and other types of structural inequity while fostering civic reasoning and discourse skills, perspectives consciousness, and an equity-conscious “we” identity. I also teach educators how to use statistical data and quantitative maps to teach about structural inequities.
Seminars typically consist of a 90-minute presentation followed by a 30-minute Q&A. Download a hard copy of these seminar and training descriptions here.
- The Origins of Race and Anti-Black Racism (Colonial Era)
- The Historical Reproduction of Anti-Black Racism (1930s-2000s)
- Contemporary Structural Racism
- Remediating Structural Racism
- A Short History of Latino Racialization
- A Short History of Asian Racialization
- Cross-Racial Conflict and Interracial Cooperation
The Origins of Race and Racism (Colonial Era)
What is “race’, and why do we say it is socially constructed? What is “racism”, and has it always existed? To answer these questions, we will go back into history to the early colonial American period, before race and racism existed. Through primary historical sources, we trace the social construction of the “Black” and “White” races and transition from a class- to a race-based society. We will learn that race is just one example of the hierarchical categories (like religion, ethnicity, and caste) that dominant groups in all societies construct in order to legitimize their social, economic, and political interests. We will then trace the institutionalization of anti-black racism through laws, religion and eugenics. We will learn that while interpersonal bias and prejudice have always existed, racism—the use of “racial” categories to legitimatize social dominance and exploitation—was developed to legitimize slavery (economic interests) and to “divide and conquer” poor Whites and Blacks (social and political Interests). Outline
The Historical Reproduction of Racism (1930s-2000s)
What are the historical roots of the structural racism? Why didn’t civil rights legislation end structural racism? Contemporary structural racism is rooted in the persistent legacies of historical discrimination: a. racial stereotypes, b. generational racial wealth gaps, and residential and school segregation. The contemporary racial wealth gap is rooted in decades of white-only public investment including FHA/VA-backed mortgages and the G.I. Bill. Contemporary residential segregation is rooted in racial zoning, restrictive covenants, redlining, and (nominally-economic) exclusionary zoning. Civil rights legislation does not prevent the perpetuation of these legacies because they only outlawed future discrimination; they did not repair the accumulated gains of past discrimination. Civil rights legislation was further neutralized in the late 1970s when the definition racial discrimination was redefined to require proven explicit intent. Thus, many forms of historical discrimination are reproduced in facially “race-neutral” forms, with wealth and geography acting as proxies for race. Outline
Contemporary Structural Racism
What is structural racism? How does structural racism lead to racial disparities? First, I define structural racism, and demonstrate how it is rooted in the persistent legacies of the accumulated gains of historical discrimination: the racial wealth gap and residential segregation. Thus, eliminating all racial bias would not have much impact on structural racism or racial economic disparities. Then I describe how individuals with privilege reinforce structural racism through self-segregation and opportunity hoarding. Finally, I illustrate how contemporary structural results in racial disparities in access to opportunity: a. access to quality education, b. opportunity to earn employment income, and c. opportunity to build home equity. Alternatively, I can describe how structural racism impacts d. health and healthcare or e. policing and the criminal justice system. Outline
Remediating Structural Racism
How do we remediate structural racism? How do we foster the cross-racial and cross-ideological solidarity needed to do so? First, I establish a few guiding principles for remediating structural inequality, including the need to foster cross-racial, cross-ideological solidarity. Second, I describe social psychology principles for fostering interracial cooperation. Our evolutionary tendency to see the world in terms of “us vs. them” is too strong to dismantle through implicit bias training, but we can shift and harness this tendency by getting the “us” and “them” to see themselves as a single equity-conscious “us” ingroup. This strategy requires us to accommodate for subgroup differences by learning about each other’s histories and challenges. Third, I describe some principles for designing policies to remediate structural racism and institutional practices to prevent biased behavior (vs. biased thoughts). Finally, I identify how individuals can minimize their contribution to racial inequality. Note: the seminars “The Historical Reproduction of Racism” and “Contemporary Structural Racism” are prerequisites for this seminar.
A Short History of Latino Racialization in the U.S.
How do Latinos fit into the U.S. racial hierarchy? What are the historical roots of the ways in which Latinos are racialized and stereotyped? To answer these questions, we will go back into history and trace the construction of the “Latino race” in the U.S. over four historical periods: 1. Under Spanish colonial rule, 2. In post-Independent Latin America, 3. Under United States colonialism, and 4. In the United States. For this last contemporary period, we will explore the factors influencing the stereotyping of the “Latino race”: a. language, b. ethnic nationalism (“alien citizens”), c. colorism, d. the “racialization of illegality”, and e. the racialization of racial disadvantage. I will also address conflict and cooperation between African Americans and Latinos. Outline
A Short History of Asian Racialization in the U.S.
How do Asians fit into the U.S. racial hierarchy? What are the historical roots of the ways in which Asians are racialized and stereotyped? To answer these questions, we will go back into history and trace the construction of the “Asian race” in the U.S. First, I describe the rise of “yellow peril” xenophobia against late 19th century Chinese immigrants. Anti-Asian xenophobia was led by the Irish, who became “white” by using the anti-Chinese movement to prove their whiteness. Then I explore differences in racialization among different Asian communities based on skin color and socioeconomic class. I also explore how Asians were granted “model minority” status to use them (“racial mascotting”) to delegitimize claims of systemic racism against African Americans and systemic xenophobia against Mexicans. Finally, I demonstrate how the precarious “honorary white” position of Asians often collapses in times of crisis, including the surge in anti-Asian violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. Outline.
Cross-Racial Conflict and Cooperation
“When do racial groups conflict, and when do they cooperate?” “How can we foster cross-racial cooperation?” First, I explain why “races” were constructed and why groups are racialized. Second, I demonstrate that racial groups conflict when they compete for relative positions on the social hierarchy. Dominant groups pit subordinate groups against each other to “divide and conquer” and reinforce their dominance. Marginalized groups help perpetuate the racial hierarchy in their efforts to negotiate their position on the hierarchy. Third, I describe social psychology principles for fostering interracial cooperation. Our evolutionary tendency to cooperate with ingroup members and compete against outgroups for hierarchical status is too strong to suppress through implicit bias training, but we can shift and harness this tendency by getting the “us” and “them” to see themselves as a single equity-conscious “us” ingroup. This strategy requires us to accommodate for subgroup differences by learning about each other’s histories and challenges. Outline.
ProEquity: Teaching Honest, Appreciative, and Civic-Minded U.S. History
The ProEquity Framework is an evidence-based K-12 approach for teaching about historical and structural racism that fosters civic reasoning and discourse skills, develops an “honest yet appreciative” view of U.S. history, and builds an equity-conscious “we” identity. The ProEquity approach prepares students to work together across ideological and identity differences to analyze the historical roots of societal challenges and develop equitable policy solutions that promote the common good. My Psychology Today article summarizes this framework. The four components of the model are:
1. Empirical Questions versus Policy/Opinion Questions. Using Hess and McAvoy’s “empirical vs. policy” framework to distinguish between empirical questions (e.g. “Does systemic racism exists?”) that are not subject to debate, and policy/opinion questions (e.g. “What should the government do about racism?”) which should be debated.
2. Evidence-Based Inquiry Analysis of Empirical Issues. Using evidence-based inquiry analysis to develop a rigorous understanding of the historical, politico-cultural, and economic context of contemporary structural inequities (empirical issues).
3. Framing Policy Issues with Value Tensions. Using “value-tensions” to frame policy issues as different prioritizations of universally held values on a continuum (e.g. “economic equity vs. economic freedom”) rather than as a binary of opposing positions.
4. Perspectives Consciousness and an “equity-conscious ‘we’ identity. Using an understanding of social psychology principles to foster “perspectives consciousness” and an equity-conscious ‘we’ identity in the classroom. Perspectives-consciousness is an awareness of how one’s identities affect both one’s viewpoints on policy issues and one’s interpretation of evidence on empirical issues. An equity-conscious “we” identity is a shared “we” identity with an interdependent purpose that is conscious of subgroup differences in privilege, history, and lived experience.
Using Data, Quantitative Maps, and ArcGIS to Analyze Social Justice Issues
In this seminar, I teach middle and high/upper school educators to use statistical data, quantitative maps, and ArcGIS mapping to enable students to explore and analyze complex societal challenges in nuanced, evidence-based, and engaging ways. These disciplines and tools allow students to engage in inquiry-based analysis of social, racial, and environmental justice issues by identifying and analyzing relationships, patterns, and trends in geographic, demographic, and economic indicators.
Such projects also give instructors the opportunity to foster essential “data literacy” skills that students need to prepare them to critically assess claims in media and politics as informed citizens. In addition, GIS mapping allows students to engage in a level of critical thinking and quantitative analysis far beyond what they could normally do given their level of quantitative skills. Esri’s ArcGIS is a geographic information system (GIS) that enables students without advanced quantitative skills to visualize, question, analyze, and interpret large sets of data like the Census. Even middle school students can easily master the basics of ArcGIS in a couple of days.