Race Equity at Work (Preview)

Excerpted from Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture (Equity in the Center, 2018)

Achieving race equity—the condition where one’s racial identity has no influence on how one fares in society—is a fundamental element of social change across every issue area in the social sector. Yet the structural racism that endures in U.S. society, deeply rooted in our nation’s history and perpetuated through racist policies, practices, attitudes, and cultural messages, prevents us from attaining it.

Illustration by Julie Stuart

By Kerrien Suarez, Executive Director and Ericka Hines, Managing Director & Lead Researcher

The impact of structural racism is evident not only in societal outcomes, but in the very institutions that seek to positively impact them. For example, the Race Outcomes Gap: People of color fare worse than their white counterparts across every age and income level when it comes to societal outcomes. They experience significant disadvantages in education, economic stability, health, life expectancy, and rates of incarceration.

The attainment of race equity requires us to examine all four levels on which racism operates (personal, interpersonal, institutional, and structural), recognize our role in enduring inequities, and commit ourselves to change. As a sector, we must center race equity as a core goal of social impact…

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From Design Museum Magazine Issue 016