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.
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.
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. Feel free to contact any of the following people: