This guide provides a starting point to learn about anti-racism, inclusion, and privilege, as well as provide information and resources intended to support the University of Dayton community. The UD community is welcome to suggest resources, guides, or any other information relevant to this resource by contacting Ione Damasco.
"In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist."--Angela Y. Davis
Racism is prejudice plus power; anyone of any race can have/exhibit racial prejudice, but in North America, white people have the institutional power, therefore, racism is a systematized discrimination or antagonism directed against people of color based on the belief that whiteness is superior. It is insidious, systemic, devastating, and integral to understanding both the history of the United States and the everyday experiences of those of us living in this country.
Note: A common, incorrect definition of racism is the colloquial definition: "racism is prejudice against someone based on their skin color or ethnicity and can be committed by anyone." This is NOT an accurate definition nor the one used in most anti-racist circles. It highlights individuals' thinking and actions but ignores embedded institutional and cultural systems.
Non-white folks can be agents of racism as well (particularly when acting as representatives of white-dominated systems, such as higher education) by perpetuating the notion of white superiority and using it to discriminate against other people of color. For example, a black manager at a company may insist that a black employee's natural hair looks "unprofessional," or an Asian professor may knock points off the presentation grade of a Latinx student who speaks with an accent.
(Source: Simmons Anti-Racism Research Guide)
Anti-racism can be any strategies, theories, actions, and practices that challenge and counter racism, inequalities, prejudices, and discrimination based on race. In Ibram X Kendi's book, How to be an Antiracist, Kendi combines ethics, history, law, and science with a personal narrative to describe how to move beyond the awareness of racism and contribute to making society just and equitable. In this video clip, he describes the difference between being an anti-racist as opposed to being not racist.