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Inclusive Excellence Resource Guide

On this guide, you will find resources related to the Inclusive Excellence Committee's series of workshops.

Session Two

Colorism: Discrimination based on skin color, upholding the idea that lighter skinned people are intelligent, beautiful, kind, trustworthy, etc.

Discrimination: Prejudice + Power. An action that has negative material, emotional or social consequences

Prejudice is putting action to the biases that we hold, Prejudices are not always intentional and conscious. They can include behaviors, facial expressions and/or body language that is a subconscious reflection of the biases that we hold. (YWCA Definition)

The view that every entity has a set of attributes that are necessary to its identity and function.

Tokenism as an example - the practice of making only a perfunctory or symbolic effort to do a particular thing, especially by recruiting a small number of people from underrepresented groups in order to give the appearance of sexual or racial equality within a workforce

Bias is the attitudes, opinions and judgements we hold about a person or group of people before the presence of evidence that either confirms or contradicts. Bias can include attitudes, opinions or judgements that paint a person or a group of people in either a positive or a negative light. We all have biases. (YWCA Definition)

An ideology that there is a level playing field in the US and people can advance as far as their hard-work and abilities allow. Ignores long-standing discriminatory practices against women, people of color and individuals with disabilities in the United States.

Microagressions are the little things we hear or see that remind us that we are the “other” or outside of the norm of the dominant culture. Microagressions exist in all aspects of our lives: body size, age, ability, sexual orientation, gender and on and on. Here we are focused on racial Microagressions and they are everywhere. Microagressions are the tangible effect of our privilege seeping out when we aren’t paying attention.

Microagressions are an excellent example of intent and impacts as, more often than not, the intention of the aggressor is neutral or even good but the impact to the target is harmful. Microagressions are also a common place to see the pile on effect. Receiving a Microagression once may not have a large impact but receiving it over and over again will cause lasting harm. (YWCA Definition)

Everyday acts of exclusion against underrepresented groups that attempt to denigrate their capabilities.

Often, the racist or prejudice things we do and say appear minor in effect. And indeed they may be, IF they were received only once or twice. But what happens when that minor offense is received over and over again. That is what we call the Pile on Effect. Imagine a stubbed toe. Not a huge injury, hardly worth any consideration. But what if that toe goes to be stubbed, stepped on and bumped over and over again. Eventually the injury will be much more painful and much deeper. (YWCA Definition)

Refers to inherent race power, and the internalized entitlement and privilege that comes as a result of having race power. In a white supremacist society, those who possess race power are often whites. Internalized entitlement exists outside of our consciousness and is hard to uncover through reflection alone. For example, the term “we want to appreciate and accept people of color, and make them feel welcome” implies that whites feel they have inherent power to influence the well being, mental health, self esteem of people color - they believe they have inherent power over people of color. They deny that this power is social constructed, and failure to recognize that they have the ability to deconstruct this social construct implies that they are just going along with the status quo and reaping the benefits of the entitlement and power given to them by the very system in which operates to exclude people of color and privilege whites. It lets whites off the hook.


Systemic form of advantage for those who have it. We are all both afforded or denied it based on our various group memberships.

Race, Color, Creed, Religion, National Origin, Sex, Genetic Information, Gender Identity, Familial Status, Age, Marital Status, Disability, Public Assistance Status, Veteran Status, Sexual Orientation, Activity in Local Human Rights Commission

Racism is the combination of prejudice and power to exert and outcome upon another based upon that person’s, or group of people’s, racial identity. Today, in the United States of America, power rests within the white community. Certainly, there are specific instances in which people of color have “power” but these situations are temporal, situational and not overarching. In terms of Defining racism, the requirement of power refers to an encompassing societal understanding of power. For example, the laws in this country are made, upheld and interpreted by a white majority. The financial and corporate industries are run by a white majority. The major media outlets in the country are led by a white majority. This is societal power and why only the white community can be racist. This is not to say that bias and prejudice do not exist within communities of color. Certainly they do; both internally and externally. Communities of color exhibit bias and prejudice both amongst their own members and between their own community and other communities of color or the white community. But it is not racism because there is a lack of widely recognized power (YWCA Definition)

Labor that is expected on the part of People of Color and Indigenous People to speak and work on behalf of their race/ethnicity; such labor is regularly unremunerated, misunderstood, and misused, while also taking emotional/intellectual/psychological/physical toll on the individual.

Systemic oppression and systemic inequality are manifest on the individual, interpersonal, institutional, societal and cultural level.

White Hegemony is a carefully calibrated, deliberately contrived system which continues to prevent persons of color from attaining and asserting influence (Trey Lyon, White Hegemony). White hegemony frames a world culture of ideas that we all have a relationship to. We are all in some way in collusion with and part of the overarching yet invisible and transparent apparatus of whiteness.

White supremacy culture is the idea (ideology) that white people and the ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and actions of white people are superior to People of Color and their ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and actions.

Whiteness Summarizing critical whiteness scholars, Lindsay (2007) defines whiteness as “a social practice, a normalizing category, and a key element of oppressive social relations” (p. 432). These three categories are significant. By social practice, Lindsay is referring to the idea that whiteness is active, serving to create certain social constructions that build, reinforce, and expand its privilege and dominance. Importantly, these actions are coupled with the “normalizing” aspect of whiteness, which creates and perpetuates an ideology in which the ways of whiteness are the ways of the world (Brown & Jackson, 2013; Donnor, 2013). Finally, as an oppressive function, whiteness is a critical component of the system of racism. As Ferguson describes (2014), whiteness is “an identity with historical and cultural particularities, and…part of larger dramas of racial, gender, and sexual domination” (p. 1103). In short, whiteness is an identity, a set of norms and rules, and a structural and systemic set of arrangements that perpetuate dominance, inequality and oppression. Though it is pervasive, it is often only noticeable to those whom it excludes and easily denied by those who create and sustain it

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