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 75-90-minute presentation followed by a 30-minute Q&A. Download a hard copy of these seminar and training descriptions here.
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Click to learn more about each seminar below:
- 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)
Why did we invent races and institutionalized racism? Why do societies invent races? We will go back in history and learn about race relations and slavery during the early colonial period, before we invented race and racism. Through primary historical sources, we will trace the social construction of the Black and White “races” and our transition from a class- to a race-based society. In the second half, we will analyze why societies in general invent races. Outline
The Historical Roots of Structural Racism (1930s-2000s)
What are the historical roots of the structural racism? Why didn’t civil rights legislation end structural racism? First, I provide data on contemporary racial disparities and segregation. Next, I demonstrate how structural racism is rooted in the persistent legacies of the accumulated gains of historical discrimination: residential segregation and the racial wealth gap. I focus primarily on the G.I. Bill, redlining, FHA- and VA-backed mortgages, and exclusionary zoning. Finally, I explain why the limitations of civil rights legislation allow many forms of historical discrimination to be 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 introduce the concept of structural racism using several metaphors, demonstrate how it is rooted in the persistent legacies of historical discrimination, and explain how it differs from individual bias. Then, I illustrate how contemporary structural results in racial disparities in access to opportunity: 1. access to quality education, 2. opportunity to earn employment income, and 3. opportunity to build home equity. I also identify the role of individual “opportunity hoarding” in reproducing and exacerbating structural racism. 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? After introducing some guiding principles, I describe some social psychology principles for fostering interracial cooperation. Finally, I describe some specific strategies for 1. designing government policies for remediating structural racism, 2. implementing institutional practices to reduce the impact of biased behavior (vs. thoughts), and 3. reducing individual opportunity hoarding. Outline.
Note: the seminars “The Historical Roots of Structural Racism” and “Contemporary Structural Racism” (or the hybrid seminar) 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. Our analysis of Latino racialization during contemporary period will include 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? First, I describe the rise of “yellow peril” xenophobia against late 19th century Chinese immigrants, led by the Irish who attacked the Chinese to earn whiteness. Then I explore differences in racialization among different Asian communities based on skin tone and socioeconomic class. I also explore how Asians were granted “model minority” status in order to use them (“racial mascotting”) to delegitimize claims of systemic racism. Finally, I demonstrate how the precarious “honorary white” position of Asians often collapses in times of crisis. 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 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”, while marginalized groups reinforce the hierarchy in order to negotiate their relative position. Then, I describe social psychology principles for fostering interracial cooperation. Our evolutionary tendency to compete with outgroup members is too strong to suppress through bias training, but we can shift this tendency by 1. getting the “us” and “them” to see themselves as the same ingroup, 2. accommodating for subgroup power differences, by 3. learning about each other’s histories. Outline.
Teaching About Historical and Structural Racism Through an Empirically-Based “Honest yet Appreciative” framework
The ProEquity Framework is an empirically-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. Inquiry Analysis of Empirical Issues. Using empirically-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 Graphs and Quantitative Maps to Analyze Social Issues
In this seminar, I teach middle and high/upper school educators to use data graphs and quantitative maps to help students explore and analyze complex societal challenges in nuanced, empirically-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.