Anti-Racism 101

17 Definitions


Borrowed from Bread and Roses Community Fund, Giving Project training

Class – A relative social rank in terms of income, wealth, education, status and/or power.

Classism – the institutional, cultural, and individual practices and beliefs that assign different value to people according to their class; and the economic system that creates excessive inequality and causes basic human needs to go unmet. Classism is woven together with racism and other systems of inequality.

Wealth – What you own minus what you owe. It is considered to be the amount of money one has in the bank and the property one owns; therefore, it is possible to have negative wealth.

Discrimination – action taken that is based on stereotypes or prejudice.

Stereotype – a generalization made about a person or group based on inaccurate or incomplete information. Stereotypes can be easy for people to let go of when exposed to people and experiences that defy stereotypes.

Prejudice – when a stereotype has a strong negative or positive emotion attached to it, it becomes a prejudice. A prejudice is a prejudgment in favor of or against a person, group, event, idea, or thing. A prejudice may be much more difficult to let go of than a stereotype. Someone may be prejudiced whether or not they have institutional or systemic power.

Oppression – the systemic domination of a group or groups of people for the benefit of another group of people.

Three characteristics of oppression:

  1. Requires prejudice + institutional power
  2. Affects whole groups of people, not just individuals
  3. Oppression is a system of institutions (media, government, education healthcare, religion, military), laws, politics, economic systems and societal beliefs and norms

Race – An arbitrary socio-biological category created by Europeans (white men) in the 15th century to distinguish a people from other groups because of supposed physical or genetic traits shared by the group. This is used to assign human worth and social status with themselves as the model of humanity, with the purpose of establishing whites’ access to sources of power.

Racism – A system of advantage and oppression based on race.

Racial Justice – Systematic fair treatment of people of all races resulting in equitable opportunities and outcomes for all.

Racial Justice and Economic Justice – The proactive reinforcement of policies, practices, attitudes and actions that produce equitable power, opportunities, treatment, impacts and outcomes for all. Individual-Level Racism

Internalized Racism – lies within individuals. These are our private beliefs and biases about race and racism, influenced by our culture. Internalized racism can take many different forms including: racial prejudice toward other people of a different race; internalized oppression, the negative beliefs about oneself by people of color; or internalized privilege, belief about superiority or entitlement by white people.

Interpersonal Racism – occurs between individuals. These are biases that occur when individuals interact with others and their private racial beliefs affect their public interactions.


Kara Tennis | Justice Jewelry | Justiceworks