Equity Challenge: Week 15
In this 15th week of our Challenge, we are building on previous weeks’ explorations of internalized, interpersonal and institutional racism to discuss the fourth level: structural racism.
Thank you to everyone who sent us a message last week. We’re grateful to have your feedback and suggestions for improvements, as well as to receive updates about how you are doing. Your input helps inform this process, and we will continue to learn and grow in this and future Challenges because of you. Thank you!
Week 15: Structural Racism
Here are some reflection questions for you to think about:

  • Is structural or systemic racism new to you? How do today’s definitions and resources challenge or expand your understanding of the concept?

  • How does structural racism encompass the ideas you’ve explored when learning about internal, interpersonal and institutional racism? Were there ideas or tactics that you learned for identifying and confronting those levels of racism that could apply to structural racism?

  • Do you recognize the presence of racism in the systems you interact with regularly (education, housing, etc.)? Have you explored ideas for how racism in these systems can be addressed?
Structural racism, or systemic racism, is the system in which public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations, and other norms work in various, often reinforcing ways to perpetuate racial group inequity (source).
Structural racism encompasses internalized, interpersonal and institutional racism, allowing us to name the complex interaction of culture, policy and institutions that reinforces and perpetuates racism. It calls attention to the historical and cultural aspects of our society, along with the thoughts, feelings and behaviors of individuals, that have allowed racial inequity and racism to endure and adapt over time.
An important first step in dismantling systemic racism is recognizing and acknowledging its existence. In today’s challenge, we provide resources that explain the broad concept of structural or systemic racism, including perspectives from Wisconsin. In the weeks ahead, our Challenge will delve more deeply into structural racism by examining different elements of our systems such as economic opportunity and housing, criminal justice, education, and health care.

Week 15 Challenge
With the questions and definitions above in mind, do at least one of the following:
What is systemic racism? Here's what it means and how you can help dismantle it (3-minute read)
This brief article includes a brief overview of systemic racism and its effect on people of color in the United States. It includes a brief (3 minute) video highlighting key concepts.
Systemic racism explained: Four dimensions of racism and how to be part of the solution (5-minute read)
You’ve likely heard the term “systemic racism,” but do you know what it means? In this article, experts break it down and to share tools to address it. This link includes a written article, as well as a (7 minute) video.
Systemic Racism Explained (4:23)
Systemic racism affects every area of life in the United Sates. From incarceration rates to predatory loans and trying to solve these problems requires changes in major parts of our system. Here's a closer look at what systemic racism is, and how we can solve it.
Angela’s Journey and Why Race Matters in Wisconsin (6:25)
Host and producer Angela Fitzgerald introduces us to the motivation behind the series Why Race Matters, and the call to action she felt after the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. She shares her own story of moving to Wisconsin and her struggles adjusting to life in a predominately white community.
By Every Measure: Systemic Racism (27:09)
Hosts of podcast By Every Measure Reggie Jackson and Tarik Moody detail how racism was declared a public health crisis in Milwaukee and explain the distinction between racism and systemic racism.

Share your reflections or additional resources about today’s topic on social media using #EquityChallenge - or send us a note at unitedway@unitedwayracine.org
Learn more about the Challenge and review weekly topics by visiting
Local Resources
A weekly book discussion group reading books on race and racism.

A yearlong, faith-based series of interactive and multidimensional public events. The series goal is to increase our understanding of how we think and feel about racism, resulting in actions that can help to transform us as individuals and the systems of racism in our country. 

The YWCA of SEW Wisconsin offers a variety of trainings about different facets of equity, such as structural racism, cultural differences, social transformation and more.

Higher Expectations engages community partners, aligns efforts, and maximizes resources to promote excellence and equity in education and employment outcomes in Racine County.
Hear from Deanna Singh, Founder/Chief Change Agent of Flying Elephant and her husband Justin on how to talk to your children about race to help children develop a healthy understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion.


The Legacy of Redlining in Racine Event Series

Join The Higher Expectations team along with some of our local and national partners as we examine the present-day impact of redlining in Racine.

Please register for the event series. It will take place on Monday, May 17 and 24 at 12:00 p.m.

What the Heck is Mental Wellness?

Virtual Panelist Q&A via Zoom with Compassionate Peer Support and Training co-owners, Luann Simpson and Lynelle Saunders.

Wednesday, May 19 at 6 p.m.

Virtual Panelist Q&A via Zoom with Barb Farrar, Executive Director at The LGBT Center of SE Wisconsin and guest panelists.

Wednesday, June 16 at 6 p.m.
Make your commitment to inclusion—the active, intentional and ongoing engagement with diversity—official by signing our Declaration of Inclusion Pledge. This pledge is to respect and appreciate all aspects of any person, including race, religion, skin color, nationality, sexual orientation, gender, physical abilities, age, parental status, work and behavioral styles, and the perspectives of each individual as shaped by their nation, culture and experiences. You will also receive our quarterly diversity newsletter to build your "equity muscle."