Unpacking Racism Discussion Series 2: Systemic Racism

Unpacking Racism Discussion Series 2: Systemic Racism

DMC's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion task force recently led an internal training series focused on topics related to Unpacking Racism. We wanted to share the resources that we assembled. This post covers the information shared during our first training in the series which we called "Being Open to a Discussion."

Part One: Being Open to a Discussion

Topic Overview

After becoming open to a discussion in session one, our next session addressed systemic racism. We all know that discrimination was “outlawed” after the civil rights movement. So why is there still disparities between races? The answer – systemic racism.

We discussed the definition of systemic racism and why institutional racism is more subtle and harder to recognize than individual racism.  

Educational Timeline

Next, we discussed the history of racism in America. Much of this content was pulled from "What is Owed" by Nicole Hannah-Jones.

We watched a clip from Netflix's special Racial Wealth Gap to learn what happened after the end of the Civil War. We also discussed Black Codes and the Homestead Act. 

Netflix Racial Wealth Gap
Credit: Netflix

Moving into the Twentieth Century, we discussed redlining. Redlining is a discriminatory practice in which services were denied to residents of certain neighborhoods on the basis of their race or ethnicity. Redlining prohibited black and brown individuals from being able to obtain loans, and thus buy property, in certain neighborhoods. At the same time, white people were empowered towards homeownership with government-subsidized loans. This became a source of intergenerational wealth disparity with very large impacts on our world today.

We learned about racial violence, including the Tulsa Massacre. We also covered Jim Crow laws and the New Jim Crow

New Jim Crow
Credit: Macat

Systemic Racism

We further explored the topic of systemic racism and started by watching this video on institutional racism

Our discussion on systemic racism included its perpetuation by the media, police brutality, the criminal justice system, the prison industrial complex, education, and systemic wealth and housing

Special Guest Expert

For the next portion of the session, we welcomed Reginald Champagne as our special guest expert to help us navigate the complicated topic of system racism who we answering our questions on the content. Reginald Champagne is Senior Counsel for Beam Suntory and teaches classes at Northeastern University in Boston. He holds a JD and Masters of Law from Boston University School of Law and studied Sociology at The Pennsylvania State University.

Reginald addressed some questions that DMC employees submitted regarding systemic racism and anti-racism. 

DMC Guest Speaker

Check back as we share content from our final session on Unpacking Racism.

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