Understanding structural discrimination
CEO and principal consultant at LK3 Consulting
Caste: The Origin of Our Discontents
It can be difficult to put a finger on what systemic racism actually looks like. As a result, many have come to the false conclusion that it doesn’t exist. In her book Caste: The Origin of Our Discontents, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson explores how America, today and throughout its history, has been shaped by a hidden caste system—a rigid hierarchy of human rankings built around race. Throughout her book, she provides constructs and language to allow us to see how racism is built into the infrastructure of our country and manifests itself in our lives.
Brené Brown With Ibram X. Kendi on How to Be Antiracist
In this episode of Brené Brown’s Unlocking Us podcast, she engages in a deep conversation with Ibram X. Kendi regarding his book How To Be An Antiracist. In it, Kendi, a professor and historian at Boston University, exposes the foundation of racism as an invented construct that came to be just as slavery was beginning. In his conversation with Brown, Kendi sheds light on the negative impact of this false narrative and provides a path forward, arguing that there isn't a neutral position on the racist continuum: "You are either racist or antiracist."
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
Mass incarceration is a modern-day example of systemic racism in full view. Cloaked under the “War on Drugs” rhetoric of the 1980s, mass incarceration continues the racist discrimination of the Jim Crow era. In her book, The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander courageously articulates that “once you’re labeled a felon, old forms of discrimination become legal.” This book shows that we have not ended racism in America; we have simply redesigned it.
“We Need to Talk About Injustice”
Bryan Stephenson is the founder and director of the Equal Justice Initiative and the author of Just Mercy, the best-selling book turned into a 2020 motion picture. Stephenson and his team provide legal representation to inmates who have been unjustly placed on death row. Although I had been doing work addressing social challenges for some time, when I first heard his TED Talk some years ago, it was a rallying cry for me. By sharing some hard truths about America’s justice system, Stephenson gave me renewed courage to lend my voice to eliminating our society’s injustices toward marginalized communities.
The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
In conversation with journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates, author Richard Rothstein discusses his book The Color of Law, where he shows how government policy created housing segregation in America, debunking the myth that it occurred mainly from private prejudice. His work directly ties public policies, set in place years ago, to current income and wealth disparities between Blacks and whites.
How Does Structural Racism Work
This talk from Tricia Rose, a professor of Africana studies at Brown University, shares ideas from an ongoing research project that aims to explain what structural racism is and how it works in society. She examines the connections between policies and practices in housing, education and other key spheres to reveal the intersectional and compounding effects of systemic discrimination in America.
“St Joseph County Hosts Free Expungement Clinic”
I must mention the courageous move that took place in South Bend where the prosecutor’s office, judges and community leaders joined forces to expunge the records of felons who’ve stayed out of trouble since being released from prison. This is a game changer! By facilitating the expungement of formerly incarcerated individuals’ records, our community is recognizing the debts they have already paid and allowing them to rejoin society as full members.