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 conceptual diagrams, 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 train educators on how to teach about historical and structural racism (pedagogy). I am writing a book on my “ProEquity Framework” (teaser slide deck; blog post overview), an evidence-based K-12 instructional framework for teaching about structural racism (and other types of inequity) while fostering civic reasoning and discourse skills, perspectives consciousness, and an equity-conscious “we” identity. 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 objective is to contribute to a return to a “we” society (Putnam, 2021; McGhee, 2021), but this time to one that is inclusive and conscious of differences in identity and privilege.
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): The History
- History of Racism #3. The Reproduction of Racism (1865-2000): The Politico-Cultural Context
- History of Racism #2/#3 (hybrid). The Historical Reproduction of Racism
- History of Racism #4. Contemporary Structural Racism
- History of Racism #5. Potential Policy Solutions to Structural Racism
Stand-Alone Seminars and Trainings:
- A Short History of Latinx Racialization
- A Short History of Asian Racialization
- Conflict and Cooperation Across Racial Groups (including how evidence-based strategies for reducing bias and increasing cooperation across difference)
- ProEquity: Teaching Honest, Appreciative, and Civic-Minded U.S. History (How to teach about historical and structural racism)
- Using Statistical Data, Quantitative Maps, and ArcGIS Mapping to Analyze Social Justice Issues
History of Racism #1. The Origins of Race and Racism (1619-1800s)
How and why were the races first constructed? How and why was anti-Black racism developed? In this session, 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 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 elites/slave owners created to both rationalize slavery (economic interests) and divide poor Whites and Blacks (political interests). 60-90-minute presentation followed by a 30-min Q&A.
History of Racism #2. The Reproduction of Racism (1865-2000): The History
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. 90-minute presentation followed by a 30-min Q&A.
History of Racism #3. The Reproduction of Racism (1865-2000): The Politico-Cultural Context
This seminar answers the questions “Why has there been so little progress in racial economic progress?” and “Why do most Americans so vastly overestimate racial economic progress?” Civil rights legislation did not repair the accumulated gains of past discrimination: the racial wealth gap and residential/school segregation. This allowed racial discrimination to be reproduced as “race-neutral” policies based on wealth and geography, which act as proxies for race. Affirmative action and civil rights protections were neutralized and rolled back using the legal doctrine of “colorblind constitutionalism” (part of white backlash). Individuals with privilege reproduce racism and monopolize opportunities (opportunity hoarding)… even when they support racial equity in principle (the principle-implementation gap).
The reproduction of racism is masked by myths of The American Dream (upward mobility) and racial progress. 90-minute presentation followed by a 30-min Q&A. 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)
Why has there been so little progress in racial economic progress? Why do most Americans vastly overestimate racial economic progress? 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. It is because of this that civil rights legislation had little impact on racial economic progress. I will focus on the reproduction of racism in housing discrimination (FHA/VA mortgage discrimination, redlining, exclusionary zoning), and in education discrimination (G.I. Bill, school funding disparities), as these form the foundations of contemporary structural racism. 60- 90-minute presentation followed by a 30-minute Q&A.
History of Racism #4. Contemporary Structural Racism
What is structural racism, and how does it differ from interpersonal bias? How does structural racism affect racial economic disparities? First, I introduce the concept of structural racism using several metaphors, and explain how it differs from individual bias. 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. Thus, eliminating all racial bias would not have much impact on structural racism. Then, I then explain how contemporary structural racism impacts racial economic disparities. Finally, I illustrate how structural racism manifests in wealth accumulation, housing geography, HIV transmission, employment, and education (K-12 schools and college admissions). 60-90-minute presentation followed by a 30-min Q&A.
Note that seminar #2 (or #2/3) is a prerequisite for this seminar, as it is impossible to understand contemporary structural racism without an understanding of its roots in historical discrimination in housing and education (FHA/VA mortgage discrimination, redlining, exclusionary zoning, and the G.I. Bill). However, I also offer a hybrid of the two seminars. The shortest possible version of this hybrid seminar is 60 minutes.
History of Racism #5. Potential Policy Solutions to Structural Racism
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 “What are the most promising strategies for reducing racial and economic inequity and fostering an equitable “we” society?” First, I review the principal lessons developed over seminars #1-#4 in this series. Next, I identify five several promising directions forward (strategies and approaches) for reducing racial and economic inequity and fostering interracial cooperation. One of these strategies consists of shifting ethnocentric bias by getting the “us” and “them” to see themselves as a united “we” with a shared interdependent purpose, that accommodates for subgroup differences in identity, power, history, and lived experience (an equitable “we” society). The remaining 45-60 minutes is dedicated to participant work time (independently or in groups) on developing ways for implementing one or more of these strategies (“directions forward”) in their professional or personal lives. 90-minute presentation followed by a 30-min 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 workshop 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. Latino/x racialization in the U.S. is both assigned by white American society and negotiated and contested by individual Latinos/x, and is a product of a. ethnic nationalism (“alien citizens”), b. colorism, c. the “racialization of illegality”, and d. the racialization of racial and economic disadvantage. 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 groups 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 social psychology principles for fostering interracial cooperation and decreasing bias. Our ethnocentric tendency to see the world in terms of “us vs. them” is too strong to dismantle, but you can shift (manipulate) it, by getting the “us” and “them” to see themselves as a united “we” with a shared interdependent purpose, that accommodates for subgroup differences in identity, power, history, and lived experience (and equitable “we” society). Finally, I review some historical examples of interracial coalition and organizing in U.S. history.
ProEquity: Teaching Honest, Appreciative, and Civic-Minded U.S. History (How to teach about historical and structural racism)
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.
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.
Using Statistical 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.
Education clients include Packer Collegiate Institute, Phillips Academy (Andover), Chatham Hall, LREI, Ravenscroft School, Tabor Academy, Rocky Hill Country Day School, The Siena School, Colegio Anglo Colombiano (Bogota, Colombia), Stuyvesant High School (NYC), New Ulm Public Schools (MN), Twin Schools Sonoma County Schools (CA), University of California at Merced, Murray State University, UNC School of Medicine, Université Côte d’Azur (Nice, France), Hood College, Math for America NYC, EdVisions, and U. of Cincinnati Economics Center.
Other institutional clients include 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.
I have presented on behalf of National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) and New York State Association of Independent Schools (NY-SAIS), and I presented a full-day equity seminar at NAIS’ 2021 People of Color Conference (PoCC).