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An Introduction to Dr. Joy DeGruy and Anti-Racism: Anti-Racism

Dr. Joy DeGruy, an internationally renowned educator and the author of the book Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, will be working with the District this year. This guide is meant to be an introduction to her work, and to anti-racism more generally.

Definitions and Vocabulary

What is Racism?

Racism is the marginalization and/or oppression of people of color, based on a socially constructed racial hierarchy that privileges white people. While anyone of any race can exhibit racial prejudice, in North America white people hold institutional power. Racism is the systemic, institutionalized discrimination or antagonism directed against people of color based on the belief that whiteness is superior.

Note: the common, incorrect definition of the word "racism" is "prejudice against someone based on their skin color or ethnicity and can be committed by anyone". This definition ignores power structures and systematic discrimination embedded in culture and history, and focuses solely on individual thought and action. It is not considered an accurate definition.

What is Anti-Racism?

Anti-racism refers to examining cultural, societal, political, and personal structures to find racist structures, and then working to eliminate and transform those structures. This work can occur in every facet of our lives, from institutions and laws, to our own personal beliefs and biases. 




Implicit Bias

Myths that preserve White privilege

Books and Subject Headings


In an effort at full disclosure, it should be noted that while the collaborators on this guide have attempted to bring together quality, relevant resources, we are not immune from the limits and hidden biases of our own privileges and perspectives as allies. We welcome and greatly appreciate any feedback and suggestions for the guide.