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Creating Your Own Anti-Racism Plan


The Anti-Racism Committee at the University of Utah is working to reduce barriers to anti-racism work across the institution. The purpose of this page is to support the continued development and understanding of anti-racist practices at the U.

As a resource, the Anti-Racism Committee at the University of Utah has begun to develop an anti-racism template. This template can guide departments and centers in their pursuit of contributing to dismantling structures that promote and uphold racial inequality.

Why is this important?


Diversity is the third core value of the University of Utah. While not required at the U, thoughtful, strategic anti-racism plans at departments throughout the university are a critical step toward ensuring every student, faculty, and staff member enjoys an environment free of racism and hate.

Definitions


  • Equity aims to identify and actively eliminate systemic barriers to access and opportunities that prevent the full participation of people, specifically those from historically marginalized groups in higher education. Equity ensures fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all students, faculty, trainees, and staff to develop to their full academic, social, and career potential.

    Source: The University of Utah (“Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan“)

  • Diversity refers to the variety of personal experiences, values, and worldviews that arise from the whole of who we are. These experiences are valued, and include but are not limited to: race, ethnicity, gender and gender expression, age, religion, mental or neurological function, language, disability, sexuality, and socioeconomic status. It is this collective that makes us a stronger whole.

    Source: The University of Utah (“Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan“)

  • Inclusion is the act of creating a community where everyone is welcomed, respected, supported, and valued.  Inclusion actively embraces differences and engages historically marginalized individuals so that diversity can thrive.

    Source: The University of Utah (“Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan“)

  • Anti-racism involves “taking stock of and eradicating policies that are racist, that have racist outcomes, and making sure that ultimately, we are working towards a more egalitarian, emancipatory society” (Center for Antiracist Research).

  • Racism is the process by which systems and policies, actions and attitudes create inequitable opportunities and outcomes for people based on race. Racism can occur at the systemic and interpersonal levels.

    Source: Human Rights Commission (“It Stops With Me“)

  • Interpersonal racism occurs in interactions between individuals or groups of people, often in everyday settings, and takes the form of abuse, harassment, and exclusion, just to name a few.

    Source: American Psychologist (“Racial microaggressions in everyday life: Implications for clinical practice“)

  • Systemic racism is complex and is connected to the social construction of power hierarchies through time, and includes the norms, laws, policies, practices, and ideologies that result in inequitable outcomes for people of color. Historically, racist views justified the unfair treatment and oppression of people of color (including enslavement, segregation, internment, etc.). We can be led to believe that racism is only about individual mindsets and actions, yet racist policies also contribute to our polarization Therefore, anti-racism involves actively attempting to combat racist policies, practices, culture, and ideas (Take Action). Anti-racism is about more than being ‘not racist’. The application of anti-racism requires us to combat injustice through practice and shifting ideologies.

    Source: National Museum of African American History & Culture (“Being Antiracist“)

  • Anti-racism statements are part of an anti-racism plan. Similar to a mission statement, an anti-racism statement is a formal summary of an organization or individual’s values and goals toward anti-racism. An anti-racism plan, therefore, contains the concrete, actionable steps the organization or individual intends to take to achieve the goals defined by their anti-racism statement. (Citation)

    Source: Stanford (“Anti-Racism Toolkit: Keeping focused on the change“)

Step 1: Self-Study Guide


If you and your colleagues are interested in beginning to draft an anti-racism plan for your area, the first step is to complete the EDI Self-Study. In partnership with the Office of the Vice President for Research, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion developed this self-study guide as a starting point for university units to leverage the strengths inherent in an academic community and honor the variation that exists across units in terms of their needs and where they are in the journey of anti-racism work.

Perspectives on Anti-Racism Work


The Anti-Racism Committee regularly invites campus partners to present on their anti-racism statements, plans, and work. Through these presentations and by reaching out to campus partners, the Committee gathers insights that may be helpful to others as they develop their own anti-racism initiatives. The Committee will continue posting tips and lessons learned on this page as they come.

Setting Expectations

“Make time for learning and listening, before shifting to problem-solving.”

Asma Hassan, Senior Student Program Manager, Bennion Center

“Create a power map – who has power, over what? Are those in leadership willing to implement an anti-racism plan? Where are their limits?”

Courtney Dean, Student Program Manager, Bennion Center

“Recognize that your anti-racism plan will never be able to address everything and will need to be updated regularly.”

Amy Sibul, Associate Director, Bennion Center

From Equity Talk to Equity Walk

Inspired by the book of the same title by Tia Brown Mcnair, Estella Bensimon, Lashaye Malcom

“Do not allow all of the work to fall on staff of color with lived experience and/or younger staff who have had more recent academic education. If you are in leadership, you may need to skill up or skill up your team to ensure you are able to lead an equitable and generative process that centers BIPOC voices in an authentic manner.”

Courtney Dean, Student Program Manager, Bennion Center

“The entire unit community should participate in implementation of any plan rather than leaving implementation to one person or a small group of people.”

Arturo Thompson, College of Law

“Provide professional development and individual learning opportunities for all people involved. Learning something together can do a lot for building a more caring and understanding culture, and not everyone will be at the same level of understanding.”

Courtney Dean, Student Program Manager, Bennion Center

“Identify ‘champions’ willing to lead by drafting certain sections of the anti-racism plan, rather than trying to draft the entire plan with the larger group.”

Amy Sibul, Associate Director, Bennion Center

Handling Disagreement

“In this work, it is important for everyone to recognize that listening leads to understanding, not necessarily agreement. It is important that people involved in this work truly understand opposing positions and that those holding opposing positions feel heard. Take all the time you need to reach understanding. Do not allow disagreements to be camouflaged as misunderstanding and do now allow disagreements to stop the work.”

Ann Darling, Professor, Department of Communication

Anti-Racism Plan Examples & Resources