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)
- The Historical Reproduction of Anti-Black Racism, Extended Version (1865-2000s)
- Contemporary Structural Racism
- Structural Racism: Historical Roots and Contemporary Expressions
- Dismantling Structural Racism and Poverty
- A Short History of Latino Racialization
- A Short History of Asian Racialization
- Cross-Racial Conflict and Cooperation
The Origins of Race and Racism (Colonial Era)
How and why were the Black and White races first constructed? How and why was anti-Black racism developed? I trace 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 races and a racial hierarchy were socially constructed through laws. Through primary source evidence, we learn that racism did not lead to slavery; rather it was the economic interests of slavery that drove the development of racial narratives and a racial caste system. I also demonstrate that racism–the myth of Black racial inferiority–was the narrative that white slave owners created to both rationalize slavery (economic interests) and divide poor Whites and Blacks (political interests). 75-90 minute presentation followed by a 15-30 minute Q&A. 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. 75-90 minute presentation followed by a 15-30 minute Q&A. Outline
The Historical Reproduction of Racism, Extended Version (1865-2000s)
What are the historical roots of the structural racism? Why didn’t civil rights legislation end structural racism? This seminar describes how 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. They have racially disparate impacts because they are based on either wealth or geography, which are greatly impacted by historical discrimination, and thus act as proxies for race. Slavery was replaced with convict leasing, debt peonage and sharecropping. Residential segregation through racial zoning was replaced with restrictive covenants and exclusionary zoning. Segregation and the wealth gap increased significantly as a result of FHA/VA mortgage discrimination, G.I. Bill discrimination, and HOLC redlining. School segregation continued through loopholes and rollbacks in school desegregation orders. Voter Suppression was reproduced with felony disenfranchisement, the gutting of the VRA, and contemporary voter suppression laws. Racial disparities in policing and criminal Justice continued and were exacerbated with the war on drugs, mass incarceration and the New Jim Crow. 75-90 minute presentation followed by a 15-30 minute Q&A.
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. 75-90 minute presentation followed by a 15-30 minute Q&A. The seminar “The Historical Reproduction of Racism” is a prerequisite for this seminar. Outline
Structural Racism: Historical Roots and Contemporary Expressions
(This is a hybrid of “The Historical Reproduction of Racism” and “Contemporary Structural Racism”). What is structural racism? What are the historical roots of structural racism? How does structural racism lead to racial disparities? 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. This is why civil rights legislation had little impact on racial economic progress. I will focus on the reproduction of racism in housing (FHA/VA mortgage discrimination, redlining, exclusionary zoning), and education (G.I. Bill, school funding disparities), as these form the foundations of contemporary structural racism. Finally, I illustrate how structural racism manifests in access to quality education, opportunity to earn employment income, and opportunity to build home equity. 90-minute presentation followed by a 15-30 minute Q&A. Outline
Dismantling Structural Racism and Poverty
How do we dismantle racial and economic inequality? How do we foster the cross-racial and cross-ideological solidarity necessary to do so? First, I identify some potential policy approaches that should be consistent with both liberal and conservative ideologies. Second, I explain the importance of simultaneously tackling both structural racism and poverty, in order to build cross-racial, cross-ideological support for proposed policies. Third, I describe social psychology principles for fostering interracial cooperation. Our ethnocentric tendency to see the world in terms of “us vs. them” is too strong to dismantle through bias awareness training, but we can shift and harness this tendency by getting the “us” and “them” to see themselves as a single equity-conscious “we” identity. This strategy involves 1. establishing a shared interdependent purpose, and 2. accommodating for subgroup differences in power, needs, and challenges. Fourth, I describe the Othering and Belonging Institute’s Targeted Universalism policy framework, which is structured similarly to my equity-conscious “we” identity model. Fifth, I describe how we can design institutional policies and processes at the workplace to prevent biased behavior (vs. biased thoughts). Finally, I identify a few things that individuals can do to reduce our reinforcement of structural racism, including minimizing opportunity hoarding. 90 minute presentation followed by a 15-30 minute Q&A. The seminars “The Historical Reproduction of Racism” and “Contemporary Structural Racism” (OR the hybrid “Structural Racism: Historical Roots and Contemporary Expressions”) are prerequisites for this seminar.
A Short History of Latino Racialization in the U.S.
“How has Latino identity in the U.S. been racialized and negotiated over time?” First, I provide an overview of Latino demographics using Census data and maps. Then, I trace the historical racialization of Latinos: how U.S. society and the state have racialized and categorized Latinos of different ethnicities and skin colors, and how individual Latinos have contested this racialization and negotiated their status in U.S. racial hierarchies. I trace these constantly shifting dynamics through four historical stages: 1. Under Spanish colonial rule, 2. In post-Independent Latin America, 3. Under United States colonialism, and 4. In the United States. Latino racialization in the U.S. is both assigned by white American society and negotiated and contested by individual Latinos, and is a product of a. language, b. ethnic nationalism (“alien citizens”), c. colorism, d. the “racialization of illegality”, and e. the racialization of racial and economic disadvantage. 90-minute presentation followed by a 15-30 minute Q&A. Outline
A Short History of Asian Racialization in the U.S.
“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 American racialization in the rise of “yellow peril” xenophobia against late 19th century Chinese immigrants. Then I explore differences in racialization among different Asian American communities based on skin color and socioeconomic class. I also explore how Asian Americans 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, 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 15-30 minute Q&A.
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 to compete for hierarchical status with outgroups is too strong to suppress through bias training. However, we can shift, but we can shift and harness this tendency by getting the “us” and “them” to see themselves as a single equity-conscious “we” identity. This strategy involves 1. establishing a shared interdependent purpose, and 2. accommodating for subgroup differences in power, needs, and challenges by learning about each other’s histories. 75-90 minute presentation followed by a 15-30 minute Q&A.
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. 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 Mapping 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.