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Prof. Braun HSERV200 - Racial and Social Justice

Race & Systemic Racism in America

According to  Encyclopedia of African-American Politics (2014) Race is a social construct, used to categorize groups of people baed on their physical and cultural characteristics -- inevitably leading to a socio-political caste system. "The idea of race therefore has always been more than a mere tool of scientific classification. It has virtually always been also an instrument of power in the subordination and exploitation of parts of humanity".

Smith, Robert C. "race." Encyclopedia of African-American Politics, Robert C. Smith, Facts On File, 2nd edition, 2014. Credo Reference, Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

And according to the ASPEN Institute, a leading think tank of Humanistic studies, systemic racism (also considered institutional or structural racism) is a system that allows public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations, and other social norms to perpetuate racial inequity. It identifies dimensions of history and culture that enable privileges associated with “whiteness” and disadvantages associated with “color” to endure. (Glossary for Understanding the Dismantling Structural Racism/Promoting Racial Equity Analysis)

Race intersecting with institutional injustices have existed for generations, both in the U.S. and across the globe. The following sources will highlight these injustices, as well as other systemic ailments that exist. 

To access more background info on Race and systemic racism, explore our database CREDO. 

Educational Video on Systemic Racism

To shed light on this topic, published an educational video illustrating the impact systemic racism has on Black families and families of color. 

"Systemic Racism Explained." YouTube, uploaded by Alex Cequea,, 16 Apr.


To learn more about the historic ties involving systemic racism, read the report “Systemic Inequality: Displacement, Exclusion, and Segregation”, published by the Center for American Progress, written by Danyelle Solomon, Connor Maxwell, and Abril Castro.

*JSTOR, a scholarly database, is providing readers free academic sources addressing racial injustice, police brutality, and disparities in the American economic and education system. Institutionalized Racism: A Syllabus  

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