Where is your organization/school/group on the Continuum to Becoming an Anti-Racist Institution?

Committing to racial justice is also an “inside job.” That is, groups, organizations, and schools are called to get their own houses in order and move from being exclusive and exclusionary, or simply compliant and saying they are committed to justice, towards being fully committed in action, embodying the practices of “anti-racist, multicultural” organizations. Check out this resource on “Becoming an Anti-Racist Multicultural Institution” from Crossroads Ministry in Chicago. Where would you put your organization/school/group on the continuum? Where would you like it to be and by when? What are three steps you can take to begin to move your organization/school/group?

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9 thoughts on “Where is your organization/school/group on the Continuum to Becoming an Anti-Racist Institution?”

  1. My school falls at “5. Structural Change” “A Transforming Institution.” Even though the University of New Hampshire has multiple multicultural organizations and is welcoming to everyone, there isn’t a lot of diversity seen on campus. The University submitted a statement its webpage, called “Community, Equity and Diversity” saying, “We [the University] will ensure that under-represented groups and those who experience systemic inequity will have equal opportunities and feel welcome on our campus. We accept the responsibility of teaching and learning in a diverse democracy where social justice serves as a bridge between a quality liberal education and civic engagement.” This statement does hold true all throughout campus. However, many students are non-Latino Caucasians. There are a lot of students from other countries here and I hope that continues to increase in the next ten years by continuing to promote cultural clubs and events.

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  2. The University of New Hampshire promotes a very inclusive atmosphere. Although the population here is mainly non-Hispanic white people, the school tries to make everyone feel included through student organizations such as multi-cultural organizations and the black student union. Because of this, I think that UNH falls in the structural change and a transforming organization on the Continuum to Becoming an Anti-Racist Institution.

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  3. I would like say we’re almost an Affirming Institution (4), but there’s a few factors that keep us from being quite there.

    I keep hitting the wall of being relatively low in the decision making hierarchy myself, but I’m hoping the following three things eventually push us to 4 and beyond:

    1. Keep conversations focused on equity and justice whenever relevant or whenever I see an opening
    2. Present data that highlights both our successes and failures in terms of addressing challenges to equity (successes so we can elevate the conversation).
    3. Push for accountability to a larger group of stakeholders especially when it comes to project planning and evaluation.

    I like the phrase “inside job”

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    1. Hello Leran
      These sound like very thoughtful, tangible strategies, ones that make sense no matter where one is in the hierarchy of our organization! Continue to be brave and authentic in your conversations and interactions, as you are making a difference in you “Inside job” .

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  4. I think that UNH would be considered a five on the scale, a transforming institution. I think that it is hard to be fully inclusive, because there will always be people that don’t like changes, and try to oppose them to prevent them from happening. In order to get UNH to a six, we could make more of an effort to ensure that the voices of minority students are heard when making decisions that students can have an opinion about. UNH could also give more funding to the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, so that they can run more inclusive events on campus. Finally, we could make more of an effort to improve the diversity of staff in other areas on campus besides dining halls, so that most of the minority of the campus is not working just in dining halls. I would like to see opportunities for them in the bookstore, library, and even in management positions. Right now, I think there is still some sort of glass ceiling for minority workers.

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  5. I would consider UNH to be at a five, “structural change”. The university welcomes all races/ethnicities into the community, and several student organizations exist to demonstrate this. Some examples are the Black Student Union and Indonesian Student Organization. UNH also has the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and discriminatory harassment procedures will be taken if racism is reported. However, I think UNH could get to a 6 in the next 8 years if proper amounts of effort and time are put in. First, UNH needs to work on attracting more students from other states to the community. The majority of UNH students are Non-Hispanic whites, so this may give outsiders the wrong impression about racism and multiculturalism here. Second, during freshman orientation, I think students should sit through a short discussion about what being an anti-racist multicultural school means. Students are the face of the school, so they need to practice the beliefs the school has. Third, there needs to be a way to form relationship between U.S. students and foreign exchange students. Those who come from another country to here may have a language barrier, and that may prevent them from getting the fullest experience out of UNH.

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  6. Thanks to all!!!
    It is good to know that you value the UNH stated commitment to community, equity and diversity and that you see the true value in promoting more diversity on campus now, and into the future. It is when we know each other, work together, and learn together that individuals of diverse backgrounds come together and begin to appreciate our differences as well as our similarities–Although there may be differences in where each of you views where on the continuum UNH falls, it is good to know as students you feel UNH has made some positive steps. UNH could do more, especially in terms of recruitment and active engagement. Hoping the steps you have identified prepare you for the next steps you take at UNH, making strides to make this learning community more racially just. Onward

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  7. Where would you put your organization/school/group on the continuum? Where would you like it to be and by when? What are three steps you can take to begin to move your organization/school/group?

    I would put University of New Hampshire at stage 5- Structural Change. It is a transforming institution that is restructuring its practices and policies to be more inclusive. I believe UNH commits to dismantling racism to ensure diverse participation in our multicultural community. Online I found the University of New Hampshire 2010 – 2020 Inclusive Excellence Strategic Plan developed by the Diversity Council. One quote I wanted to share is their statement, “The institution adheres to non-discriminatory policies and practices in recruitment, admissions, employment, evaluation, disciplinary action, and advancement. It fosters an atmosphere within the institutional community that respects and supports people of diverse characteristics and backgrounds.” The key concepts that UNH focuses on are campus diversity, inclusive excellence, access, and equity. They perform annual assessments to evaluate the organizational structure, curriculum, campus climate, recruitment/retention, community engagement. These are the themes that UNH is actively working on to strategically address its recognized limitations and impediments to achieving a widely diverse and inclusive community. I would love to see UNH at stage 6. Fully Inclusive Anti-Racist Multicultural Organization in a Transformed Society- within the next 5 years. One step we could take to achieve this is forming more allied groups that support each other. I think by having more events that restore the community and address social concerns such as oppression would be beneficial to gain awareness. Finally, inviting more guest speakers to UNH to enrich students’ education and enhance their ability to participate in a rapidly evolving, multicultural nation.

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  8. I would put my institution somewhere between 4 (Identity change) and 5 (Structural change). I know that the intention to be multicultural is there, and we have some staff (particularly in Madison that are more diverse. Part of the institutional change that needs to happen is that our standards for a Masters of Bachelors might limit who can be part of the institution. Being that we are part of the University, we should be on the front line encouraging people of color to pursue degrees that would make them qualified for the jobs that we have. We work in the counties and can assist in training and education and encouragement for all people to pursue dreams that for some are easier to achieve than for others. Giving them resources to do so (sharing scholarships, internships, etc.) would be helpful if we did this across the entire state. Within my own county, reaching out to under-served youth is important, and also sharing stories of people unlike them (we are 96% white) so that there may be less judgment in the future, is a step in the right direction in the micro level. Many of the people I work with are economically disadvantaged and white, and these youth should have the opportunities as well to share with them the benefits that many others have from programs.

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