Suggested timing: 40 minutes

Structural inequalities are systemically rooted in the normal operations of all the systems that surround us; we must be mindful of them as we talk about race. There are measured and known disparities within each of the systems that surround us; let’s examine the terminology that is used within each of the following systems.

5 min: Read through Terminology of the Disproportionality in Systems individually.

20 min: In breakout groups, choose 2-3 systems and reflect on how you encounter these systems at work.

  • How do our experiences and the experiences of others are dramatically influenced by our individual identities and their intersections.
  • When we talk about race, how can we work towards connecting the conversation to the root of the issue, anchoring it to the system rather than emotion?

Terminology of the Disproportionality In Systems

  • Child Welfare: Overrepresentation refers to the disproportionate number of people of color in the welfare system.
  • Criminal Justice: The disproportionate number of minority youth who encounter the juvenile justice system is referred to as a disproportionate minority contact.
  • Economic: The unequal distribution of assets among people is called the wealth gap.
  • Education: The observed, persistent disparity in measures of educational performance among subgroups of students is called the achievement gap.
  • Employment: The unequal treatment of people with regards to jobs, careers and employment is called occupational inequality.
  • Environmental: While no formal term exists, we invite you to consider Flint, MI.
  • Housing: Refusing a loan or insurance to someone because of the neighborhood they live in is called redlining.
  • Law Enforcement Targeting people because of their race is called racial profiling.
  • Media: The systematic skewing of reporting is known as bias.
  • Healthcare/Mental Health/Substance Abuse: The preventable differences_ in the burden of disease, injury, or the opportunity to achieve optimal health that are experienced by socially disadvantaged populations is called _health disparities.
  • Technology: What do we call the gap in access to technology? The digital divide.

15min: Come back to the full group and discuss the following “How will you link systemic oppression to conversations about race?

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