Antiracism Definitions


  • “Actions that seek to provide equitable approaches and practices to mitigate the effects of Oppression” (National Council of Jewish Women).
  • “Anti-Oppression work seeks to recognize the oppression that exists in our society and attempts to mitigate its affects [sic] and eventually equalize the power imbalance in our communities” (Anti-Violence Project).


  • “Anti-racism is a system in which we create policies, practices, and procedures to promote racial equity. Anti-racism generates antiracist thoughts and ideas to justify the racial equity it creates by uplifting the innate humanity and individuality of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color” (National League of Cities).
  • “Anti-racism forces us to analyze the role that institutions and systems play in the racial inequities we see, rather than assign blame to entire racial groups and their ‘behavioral differences’ for those inequities” (National League of Cities).
  • “It is not enough to believe that being ‘not racist’ will eliminate racism and racial inequities. Instead, we must work within ourselves, our networks, and our institutions to challenge racism with each decision we make. The practice of anti-racism is everyone’s ongoing work” (National League of Cities).
  • “Anti-racism is a practice that people and institutions must continue to employ, moment by moment, to fight against the system of racism.
  • Anti-racist policy creates systems that center the lived experiences of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, produce targeted strategies that account for the disparate harm caused these communities, and, in the end, improve outcomes for all” (National League of Cities).
  • An active and consistent process of change to eliminate individual, institutional, and systemic racism as well as the causes of racism, oppression, and injustice” (National Council of Jewish Women).
  • “A lens that seeks to address and undermine racism by i. Understanding racism, prejudice, and stereotyping;
    • Moving beyond a multicultural lens of recognizing culture and difference to deal with issues of power, justice, and equity; and
    • Challenging and eliminating racism at all levels from personal to systemic” (National Council of Jewish Women).

Anti-Racist Education

  • “Teaching through an anti-racist lens means helping students understand racism’s origins and guises, past and present, so they can act to disrupt White supremacy” (National Education Association).
  • An anti-racist education commits “to ensuring that every student receives an education that is truthful, free from bias, liberating, and offered in a supportive, decolonized setting” (The Institute for Anti-Racist Education).

Anti-Racist Policy

“any measure that produces or sustains racial equity between racial groups. Every policy [(written and unwritten laws, rules, procedures, processes, regulations, and guidelines that govern people)] in every institution in every community in every nation is producing or sustaining either racial inequity or equity between racial groups” (Kendi 18).

Colonialism (US Context)

“The ongoing system stemming from white supremacist ideology that codified into law the genocide of indigenous peoples, enslavement of peoples of African descent, and the privileging of white Europeans in what is now the United States” (National Council of Jewish Women).


  •  “The idea that ignoring or overlooking racial and ethnic differences promotes racial harmony” (Scruggs).
  • “In order to be effective, teachers will have to learn about the cultural experiences of their students, while using these experiences as a foundation for teaching. The approach is called culturally relevant pedagogy” (Scruggs).
  • “In his book White Supremacy and Racism in the Post-Civil Rights Era, [Eduardo] Bonilla-Silva argues that racism has become more subtle since the end of segregation. He considers colorblindness the common manifestation of the ‘new racism’” (Scruggs).


  • “The unfair or prejudicial treatment of people and groups based on characteristics such as race, gender, age, or sexual orientation” (American Psychological Association).
  • “Consciously or unconsciously treating someone else unfairly or holding them to different standards on the basis of conscious or unconscious prejudiced beliefs, and not on the basis of individual merit. Can manifest in the following ways:
    • Overt discrimination: granting or denying rights or access to groups and/or individuals.
    • Unequal treatment: treating someone poorly in comparison to others because of certain characteristics.
    • Systemic discrimination: institutional policies and practices that result in the exclusion or promotion of certain groups” (National Council of Jewish Women).


  • “An equity focus in policy recognizes the need to eliminate disparities in educational outcomes of students from underserved and underrepresented populations. Such lens is color conscious and seeks specifically to eliminate widening postsecondary gaps for American Indian, African American, and LatinX students. Furthermore, it seeks to shift accountability to the institution rather than to the students and allows the organization to see when policies and practices that appear to be beneficial actually are creating a worsening inequality” (Minnesota State 2).
  • “The proactive reinforcement of policies, practices, attitudes and actions that produce equitable power, access, opportunities, treatment, impacts, and outcomes for all” (Minnesota State 9).
  • Campus context: “The creation of opportunities for historically [and purposefully] underrepresented populations to have equitable access to and participate in educational programs that are capable of closing the achievement gap in student success and completion” (Minnesota State 9).
  • “The state, quality, or ideal of being just, impartial, and fair, synonymous with fairness and justice. To be achieved and sustained, equity needs to be understood as a structural and systemic concept.” (USC Center for Urban Education)
  • “The term ‘equity’ refers to fairness and justice and is distinguished from equality: Whereas equality means providing the same to all, equity means recognizing that we do not all start from the same place and must acknowledge and make adjustments to imbalances. The process is ongoing, requiring us to identify and overcome intentional and unintentional barriers arising from bias or systemic structures.” (National Association of Colleges and Employers)
  • “Equity refers to achieving parity in student educational outcomes, regardless of race and ethnicity. It moves beyond issues of access and places success outcomes for students of color at center focus.” (USC Center for Urban Education)


  • “Inclusion refers to how diversity is leveraged to create a fair, equitable, healthy, and high-performing organization or community where all individuals are respected, feel engaged and motivated, and their contributions toward meeting organizational and societal goals are valued” (Bennett).
  • “Inclusivity is one of the results of the battle for social justice, equal rights, and opportunity. It is the product of the relentless struggle by the marginalized, oppressed, and discriminated against injustice and oppression” (Ricee).


  • “The ways in which systems of inequality based on gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, class and other forms of discrimination ‘intersect’ to create unique dynamics and effects” (Center for Intersectional Justice).
  • “All forms of inequality are mutually reinforcing and must therefore be analysed and addressed simultaneously to prevent one form of inequality from reinforcing another” (Center for Intersectional Justice). 
  • Kimberlé Crenshaw defines intersectionality as “a lens, a prism, for seeing the way in which various forms of inequality often operate together and exacerbate each other. We tend to talk about race inequality as separate from inequality based on gender, class, sexuality, or immigrant status. What’s often missing is how some people are subject to all of these, and the experience is not just the sum of its parts” (Steinmetz).


  • “[T]he process whereby minoritized students are educated in colleges and universities that seek first and foremost to disrupt the socio-historical oppression of their students while simultaneously empowering them to free themselves from their own oppression” (Garcia).
  • “Education of a liberating character is a process by which the educator invites learners to recognize and unveil reality critically. The domestication practice tries to impart a false consciousness to learners, resulting in a acile adaptation to their reality; whereas a liberating practice cannot be reduced to an attempt on the part of the educator to impose freedom on learners…Education for domestication is an act of transferring ‘knowledge,’ whereas education for freedom is an act of knowledge and a process of transforming action that should be exercised on reality” (Freire 102).
  • “A framework of action guided by the premise that the only way to end systemic oppression is by dismantling the system itself, as opposed to giving people equitable resources so they can exist under a system that doesn’t naturally benefit them” (National Council of Jewish Women).

Liberatory Outcomes

“The goal is to collaborate with stakeholders to conceptualize liberatory educational outcomes such as critical consciousness, racial identity development, and social agency for postsecondary research, practice, and policy” (Garcia).

Liberatory Pedagogy

“Liberatory education begins by enabling the entire PCC community to confront objectively the existence of intersectional oppression (eg. homophobia, anti-blackness, etc.) in higher education and by thinking critically about the effects on our entire community. We will do this by holding individuals, the institution, and its structures accountable with hopefulness for creating authentic change and liberation in the classroom, on campus, and throughout society, while intentionally changing the systems of oppression through praxis, self-determination, and measured success” (PCC’s Academic Senate Social Justice Committee working definition).


  • “The use of power to disempower, marginalize, silence or otherwise subordinate one social group or category, often in order to further empower and/or privilege the oppressor. Oppressed groups may consist of people who share a historically marginalized identity like people of color, or individuals of a certain religion or gender” (National Council of Jewish Women).
  • Systemic oppression is “discrimination that is omnipresent in our societal structures, like our laws, education, and customs” (National Council of Jewish Women).


  • Exercise or practice of an art, science, or skill
  • Customary practice or conduct
  • Practical application of theory (Merriam-Webster)

Social Justice

  • “Social justice is about distributing resources fairly and treating all students equitably so that they feel safe and secure–physically and psychologically” (Alvarez).
  • “Social Justice encompasses educational, economic, and political arenas. Social Justice is a commitment to equity and fairness in treatment and access to opportunities and resources for everyone, recognizing that all is not equal. Social Justice means that we work actively to eradicate structural and institutional racism, classism, linguicism, ableism, ageism, heterosexism, religious bias and xenophobia. Social Justice means that we, as educators are responsible for the collective good of society, not simply our own individual interests” (California Teachers Association).

Works Cited

Anti-Racism Policy Links & Resources