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What is Antiracism?

"Being antiracist is fighting against racism. Racism takes several forms and works most often in tandem with at least one other form to reinforce racist ideas, behavior, and policy." (National Museum of African American History and Culture, 2020)

Antiracism is defined as the work of actively opposing racism by advocating for changes in political, economic, and social life. Antiracism tends to be an individualized approach and set up in opposition to individual racist behaviors and impacts.

What does it mean to be an antiracist?

Antiracism and being antiracist is not the same as "not racist." Being not racist is a passive response. You do not have to do anything in response to the systemic racism that exists. Being antiracist means that you are actively doing your part to dismantle the deeply embedded racist culture in the country and the world.

Antiracism in Education

Unfortunately, racism is extremely prevalent in education, from pre-school through higher ed. Antiracist education is therefore extremely important in fighting against this injustice. 

Examples of Racism in Education

  • Children of color are often punished more harshly than their white classmates for the same offense.
  • Children of color are less often recognized as gifted.
  • Many city school systems lack the resources, including teachers and technology, that rich white suburban school systems have.
  • The school-to-prison pipeline This link opens in a new window.

Antiracism Education

9 Important Elements of Antiracist Education

  1. Examining the historical roots and contemporary manifestations of racial prejudice and discrimination.
  2. Exploring the influence of race and culture on one's own personal and professional attitudes and behavior.
  3. Identifying appropriate anti-racist resources to incorporate into the curriculum in different subject areas.
  4. Developing new approaches to teaching children using varying cognitive approaches to diverse learning styles.
  5. Identifying and counteracting bias and stereotyping in learning material.
  6. Dealing with racial tensions & conflicts.
  7. Identifying appropriate assessment and placement procedures and practices.
  8. Assessing the hidden curriculum and making it more inclusive and reflective of all students' experiences.
  9. Ensuring that personnel policies and practices are consistent with equity goals and that they provide managers with the knowledge & skills to implement equity programs.

(National Museum of African American History and Culture, 2020)




National Museum of African American History and Culture. (2020, July 20). Being antiracist. This link opens in a new window