What does it mean to be anti-racist?

Systemic racism is all around us - embedded in our culture, communities, schools, justice system, government, hospitals and more. 

Due to the pervasiveness of system racism in our society, it is not enough to simply be "not racist." This is where anti-racism comes in. Anti-racism seeks to actively identify and oppose racism by changing the policies, behaviors, and beliefs that perpetuate racist ideas in our communities. 

Begin your journey to anti-racism with the resources below.


Anti-Racist Resources

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry: Anti-Racism Resource Library

The mission of AACAP is the promotion of the healthy development of children, adolescents, and families through advocacy, education, and research, and to meet the professional needs of child and adolescent psychiatrists throughout their careers. This resource library houses materials for adults and children alike.

PBS Above the Noise: What Does it Mean to be Anti-Racist?

Project Implicit: Implicit Association Test

Project Implicit was founded in 1998 by three scientists – Dr. Tony Greenwald (University of Washington), Dr. Mahzarin Banaji (Harvard University), and Dr. Brian Nosek (University of Virginia). Project Implicit Health (formerly Project Implicit Mental Health) launched in 2011 and is led by Dr. Bethany Teachman (University of Virginia) and Dr. Matt Nock (Harvard University).

The mission of Project Implicit is to educate the public about bias and to provide a “virtual laboratory” for collecting data on the internet. Project Implicit scientists produce high-impact research that forms the basis of our scientific knowledge about bias and disparities.

Racial Equity Tools: Communicating for Racial Justice

When and how to be explicit about race is still controversial, even in the racial equity field. It is critical to be able to showcase and explain not just racial disparities, but also the full narrative on why and how these disparities came to be in place. This section discusses the dangers of not talking about race, provides tools on how to share stories, and also provides information about the role of implicit bias.

Racial Equity Tools: History of Racism and Movements

Understanding the roots of racism helps explain patterns of inequity and structural racism that persist. This understanding also sheds light on how the systems are intended to control certain populations, and how to find entry points to disrupt the entrenched thinking and design.

Racial Equity Tools: Narrative Change

Resources in this section provide examples of strategies that people have used to directly address cultural racism – that is, the representations, messages and stories that create and maintain positive and negative assumptions about racial and ethnic groups, and the role of structural racism and privilege in creating and maintaining racial inequities – and to create new narratives. Narrative is defined as a collection of related stories that are articulated and refined over time to represent a central idea or belief, according to ReFrame, a communications firm focused on empowering social campaigns to win.

Shriver Center on Poverty Law: Anti-Racism Resources

The Shriver Center has compiled a non-comprehensive collection of readings, research, and tools to help guide an understanding of the history of racism and structural racism, as well as the ways to dismantle systems and become an anti-racist individual and institution.

YWCA Metropolitan Chicago Until Justice Just Is: Anti-Racism Discussion Guide

Justice and equality are two critical terms. Gaining alignment around their meaning is not easy. Justice is a concept that has fascinated philosophers since the beginning of civilization. It has different meanings in different cultures. Justice can mean punishment. Justice can mean mercy. Justice can mean fairness—making sure all people receive what they deserve. It is also often in “the eye of the beholder.”