What is Racism?
The Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan subscribes to the following definition of racism:
The United Nations Association in Canada defines racial discrimination as “any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin that has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.”
Understanding the Scope of Racism
There are different types of racism:*
Individual racism is between people, e.g. treatment in stores and restaurants.
Systemic racial discrimination is embedded in institutional systems; the direct link between residential schools’ conscious cultural destruction to social issues, such as poverty, employment, education, health and legal issues for Indigenous people is an example.
Cultural racism is the social production and reproduction of values and standards which privilege one group’s cultural heritage and identity over those of another; encourage schools to include Indigenous perspectives and content, reflect the full diversity of Saskatchewan, especially values and beliefs beyond holidays, performance and food.
Internalized racism occurs when people targeted by racism come to believe that the stereotypes and prejudices of racism are valid. They may act out this belief by oppressing others of their own group, or by devaluing themselves through feelings of shame, self-hatred, isolation, powerlessness, self-doubt and despair.
It is important to understand that one cannot effectively deal with racism until one looks at all the underlying causes and takes steps to correct them.
MCoS Position Statement
Act! Together We make a difference
ACT! is Regina Public Schools anti-racism, cross-cultural youth leadership program. ACT! School Teams are established in elementary and high schools throughout the system. Act! Team members work tirelessly to raise the global community of their schools through positive action and support of all students. This grade 6 to 12 program also allows often marginalized students smooth transitions from the elementary to the high school level.
For more information, visit: http://www.rbe.sk.ca/act
Amnesty International Free Online Refugee Rights Course
This course offers an introductory understanding of the rights of refugees and the concept of international protection. It looks at the reasons people flee their homes and the extreme conditions refugees face. It reviews the role of government in protecting the rights of refugees and how to play your part in ensuring those rights are respected. You will also be able to claim your certificate at the end of the course.
Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes – Jane Elliott
Cultural Awareness and Levels of Action Continuum
MCoS coordinates a provincial March 21st campaign which involves sending members and all school divisions packages with March 21st posters and stickers, activity kits, a social media campaign using #MarchOutRacism and Arrêt/Stop Racism Youth Leadership Workshops.
The 2017 campaign is themed, Show Racism the Door! and anyone can download a free activity kit and join the conversation on social media using #MarchOutRacism. View latest campaign
Please contact us for additional materials if you need them at (306) 721-6267 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
MCoS Arrêt/Stop Racism Youth Leadership Workshop Facilitator Guide
The Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan (MCoS) offers an opportunity for high school students to participate in an anti-racism leadership workshop. Students engage with peers from throughout the province as they participate in activities to explore identity, intercultural relationships, power, privilege, racism and discrimination. They learn to facilitate these activities for use in the local school and community. These are appropriate at any time of year and it is important to remember issues of social justice every day. The facilitation guide used to train these students to lead the anti-racism workshops contains invaluable information and exercises.
Peggy McIntosh – Unpacking the Knapsack of White Privilege
For McIntosh, racism is taught as something which puts another at a disadvantage. In light of the preceding, she realized an erroneous omission in the teaching of racism: if some are disadvantaged, a significant corollary must be that another is placed in a position of advantage. Specifically, white privilege must be the translated position of advantage. McIntosh describes white privilege vividly and powerfully as the idea of an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions and more. In other words, a white person in the United States has on his or her back an invisible weightless knapsack granting favored positions, status, acceptance, and more.
Read Peggy McIntosh’s article here: Unpacking the Knapsack of White Privilege (pdf)
The Privilege of Colour-Blindness (Article)
Have you ever thought about what it means to be white?
A psychology professor from Columbia University conducted a study in which he asked white and racialized people on the street in San Francisco this very question. Responses from the white participants ranged from bewilderment (they’d never thought about it) and denial of racial awareness (they claimed not to notice other people’s colour), to outrage, hostility and vicious racist rants. Some distanced themselves from whiteness by focusing on their ethnicity (“I’m not white, I’m Italian.”) Many angry respondents vehemently denied any racial privilege and blamed racialized people for not improving their own circumstances.
To be clear, the psychologist was not asking his interviewees whether they were racist — only what it means to be white. But merely being asked to think about one’s own whiteness is often perceived as an accusation of racism. Is there any worse social horror than being called a racist? More>>>
Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)
The SPLC is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Using litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy, the SPLC works toward the day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality.
STARS – Student Teachers Anti-Racism Society
The Student Teachers Anti-Racism Society (STARS) promotes anti-racism education at the College of Education, University of Saskatchewan through the support of the College. They work collaboratively to understand, identify, and address individual and systemic racism and its interlocking forms of oppression based on gender, sexuality, ability, class, religion and other socially constructed categories. STARS developed a resource blog because they recognize that although the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education has mandated the inclusion of Treaty education and First Nations and Métis content across grade levels and subject areas, not all teachers have access to the resources and knowledge needed to make this mandate a reality.
Visit their resource blog here: http://starsusask.blogspot.ca/
Visit their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Student-Teachers-Anti-Racism-Society-STARS/290857577605398
Project Implicit – Harvard University
Project Implicit is a non-profit organization and international collaboration between researchers who are interested in implicit social cognition – thoughts and feelings outside of conscious awareness and control. The goal of the organization is to educate the public about hidden biases and to provide a “virtual laboratory” for collecting data on the Internet.
The Implicit Association Test (IAT) measures attitudes and beliefs that people may be unwilling or unable to report. The IAT may be especially interesting if it shows that you have an implicit attitude that you did not know about.
Tim Wise is among the nation’s most prominent anti-racist essayists and educators. He has spent the past 25 years speaking to audiences in all 50 states, on over 1000 college and high school campuses, at hundreds of professional and academic conferences, and to community groups across the nation. He has also lectured internationally in Canada and Bermuda, and has trained corporate, government, law enforcement and medical industry professionals on methods for dismantling racism in their institutions.
Welcome to the Teaching Tolerance blog, a place where educators who care about diversity, equity and justice can find news, suggestions, conversation and support.
United Nations (UN) – March 21st web page
For more information, visit: http://www.un.org/en/events/racialdiscriminationday
UNESCO – Declaration on Race and Racial Prejudice
There Is No Apolitical Classroom: Resources for Teaching in These Times
The following resource was created by members of NCTE’s Standing Committee Against Racism and Bias in the Teaching of English.