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RACE OR ETHNICITY:
Why should I care?
By: Marion Browne
BEHS 220/ Diversity Awareness
UMUC
Common Misconceptions Regarding
Race and Ethnicity:
Race: Biologically determined
 Physical traits such as appearance ie: skin color
 Other inherited traits ie: hair color, eye color, etc…
Ethnicity: Culturally determined
 Based on groups
 Shared similarities ie: common language, heritage
 Geographical connections
(Christian, 2017)
The Problem With Race And Ethnicity
 Pose many & complex problems
 Problems for philosophers & in society
 Some problems are:
1. Practical problems like:
 Racial or ethnical discrimination questions
2. Conceptual problems like:

Distinguishing race from ethnicity
3. Both problems lead to each other
(Gracia, 2016)
What is racial prejudice?
To have an unfavorable or discriminatory attitude or belief towards
someone else or another group of people primarily on the basis of skin
color or ethnicity.
 Example: John is prejudiced
1. Believes new refugees are stupid & barbaric
2. Because they kill chickens in their backyard
3. He has reported this to the local police many times
(Hampton & Lee, 2017)
What is racism?
Racism exists when racial prejudice is supported by
institutions and laws
Example: when Refugee neighbor is:
 Arrested & jailed for killing chickens
 No attempt to understand why he did
 No attempts to explain laws to him
 Doesn’t speak English therefore racism exists
Hampton & Lee, 2017)
Can we be free from racial prejudice?
Can’t ever be entirely free of prejudice.
 We need to:
 Identify and address racism
 Understand racism perpetuates the unearned
privileges of some
 Understand it imposes undeserved restrictions
on others
 Understand the economic heath of some is
intertwined with racism
 Understand it needs addressing or community
building effort wont reach full potential
(Hampton & Lee, 2017)
History of racial prejudice and racism in U.S.
 Perpetrated by people of European descent
 Perpetrated against other groups ie: African-Americans & Latinos.
 Shifts in demographics leads to:
1. racial prejudice and racism
2. tensions between people of non-European descent
ie: between African Americans and Asian Americans
3. More diversity & mobility for worlds people
• more need to prepared to act
• More potential for hostility due to differences race and ethnicity
(Hampton and Lee. 2017)
How have things changed in 20 years?
How big of a problem is racism in our society today?
1. Americans consider racism a problem today than 20 years ago
 In 2015 49% believed racism was a big problem
 In 2011 28% believed racism was a big problem
 41% believed racism was a big problem after the Million Man March
Americans who say it is a
“big problem”
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
41%
10%
28%
49%
0%
1995
2011
Years
(Agiesta, 2015.)
2015
How is the problem viewed among racial groups?
1. The percent of people who see racism as a big problem is higher
among racial and ethnic minorities than it is among whites:
 66% of blacks call it a big problem
 64% of Hispanics call it a big problem
 43% of whites call it a big problem
60%
40%
20%
PERCENTAGE WHO SAY
RACISM IS A BIG
PROBLEM
43
66%
64%
0%
Black
(Agiesta, 2015.)
Hispanic
white
Problem among Races
How is it viewed as a problem within a particular race?
1. White and Hispanic Women consider racism a problem more
than men
2. Among whites there’s a broad political divide:
 56% of white Democrats calling it a big problem
 32% of white Republicans calling it a big problem
3. Young whites and young people of color felt about the same about
racism as a problem as adults
(Agiesta, 2015).
America’s demographics are shifting: But still a racial divide
How have racial tensions increased among
Americans within last 10 years?
1. In 2015, 2/3 of Americans believe racial tensions had increased
2. In 2001 only 29% believed racial tension increased
3. In 1995 about 47% believed racial tension increased
4. There’s agreement across racial and ethnic groups about increase
 67% whites thought so
 65% blacks thought so
When asked if they thought
tensions between racial and
ethnic groups in the country
increased
10%
 55% Hispanics thought so
64%
(Agiesta, 2015.)
25%
10%
1%
stayed the same
stayed the same
Increased
Decreased
Don’t know/refuse
Why is it important to reduce racial
prejudice and racism?
 Prevent victims from achieving full potential
 Prevent victim’s fullest contribution
 Prevents benefiting from victim’s contributions
 They weaken the community as a whole
 They increase the likelihood of retaliation
 They go against democratic ideals
(Hampton & Lee, 2017)
Racial prejudice and racism: Why
should you care?
 Because it:
 Divides us
 It destroys us
 Always has an oppressed and oppressed
 Racial prejudice and racism are just plain wrong
(Hampton & Lee, 2017)
Things you can do in the workplace:
 Recruit & hire racially/ ethnically diverse staff
 Recruit & hire culturally diverse board members
 Note barriers diverse members face at work.
 Monitor newsletters for negative portrayals/stereotypes
 Monitor for inclusion and fight racism.
(Hampton & Lee, 2017)
Things you can do in schools or
universities:
 Form a diversity task force or club
 Recognize a variety holidays and events
 Include anti-racism education in curriculum
 Change racist policies in your school
(Hampton & Lee, 2017)
Things you can do as an individual:
 Speak up when you hear racial slurs.
 Take advantage of events and information.
 Promote racial understanding at your workplace.
 Attend events about other cultures.
(Hampton & Lee, 2017)
How can you reduce racial prejudice
and racism?
 Learn about your community
 Document activities of racism
 Understand the depth of the problem
 Identify policies that need to be challenged
 Determine short-term and long-term goals
 Consider existing and needed resources
 Consider how much time you have
(Hampton & Lee, 2017  Review strategies
What things you can do in your
community:
 Organize a cleanup campaign
 Put up “Hate Free Zones” signs
 Organize a coalition
 Sponsor a community forum on racism
 Celebrate traditions of diverse groups
 18Organize anti-racism demonstrations
(Hampton & Lee, 2017)
What things you can do in your
neighborhood:
 You can welcome all newcomers
 Make “safe zone” signs or stickers for all
 Change policies that are exclusive
 Participate in cultural events and set ups
(Hampton & Lee, 2017)
How else can you help?
You can learning to be an
Ally for People from Diverse
Groups and Backgrounds
What is an ally?
 Any person who supports, empowers, or stands up for another
person or group
 A non-group member who provides an outside perspective to
assist the group
(Agiesta, 2015)
Why should you be an ally?
 To organize, unify, and empower communities
 To develop allies
 To change systematic problems
 To create a moral standard
 To establish community connections
(Agiesta, 2015)
Why shouldn’t you become an ally?
 To avoid your own group
 To help you alleviate guilty feelings
 To feel superior to others
(Agiesta, 2015)
Becoming an ally will promote diversity
 Establish friendships
 Learn other cultures
 Examine your prejudices
 Take a stand
 Promote diverse leaders
 Support groups on issues
 Make broad changes
 Train others to be allies
(Agiesta, 2015
We all have the ability to care deeply about each
other. We can all take action. Why wait for someone
else to invite you or give you permission to take the
initiative? You can make a difference. You can be an
ally to anyone at any time. It will make a big
difference, today and tomorrow because we all need
to pitch in to truly overcoming prejudice. You should
care because it matters.
(Agiesta, 2015)
Reference
Agiesta, J. (2015). Race and Reality in America: Five key findings. CNN U.S. Edition. Retrieved from
https://www.cnn.com/2015/11/24/us/race-reality-key-findings/index.html
Axner, A. (2017). Learning to be an ally for people from diverse groups and backgrounds.
Community Tool Box. Retrieved from https://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/culture/culturalcompetence/be-an-ally/main
Christian, E. and Lee, J. (2017). Ehnicity, nationality, race, heritage, culture, identity: these concepts
can be confusing or misunderstood, so here we try to understand the differences. Dauntless
Jaunter. etrieved from https://djaunter.com/enrich/#
Hampton, C. and Lee, K. (2017). Strategies and activities for reducing racial prejudice and racism.
Community Tool Box Retrieved from https://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/culture/culturacompetence/reduce-prejudice-racism/main
Google image. Race vs ethnicity. Retrieved from https://googl/images/NC45S5
Gracia, J. (2016). Race and ethnicity: black and latino identity. Ithica: Cornell. Retrieved from
https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=ahhDQAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PT258&dq=info:BjTFh
0AGcP4J:scholar.google.com/&ots=Z3CRJe1mjn&sig=DcGcXUmOsw4KXgJo2PJr0FQcfj8#v=onep
age&q&f=false

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