Racial Justice Trainings

The Business Case for Racial Equity

Over the last decade, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation has examined racial inequities in the workplace and periodically reports on “the business case for diversity.” In their most recent (2018) report, the Kellogg Foundation highlights how much revenue the U.S. would generate if companies made racial equity a business priority. According to the 2018 report, the U.S. would generate an additional $109 billion on food, $286 billion on housing, $30 billion on apparel, $147 billion on transportation, and $44 billion on entertainment each year. Federal tax revenues would increase by $450 billion and state and local tax revenues would increase by $100 billion annually. While these numbers reflect potential gains prior to the onset of the global pandemic, evidence remains that lessening, and ultimately eliminating, race-based disparities in resources and opportunities provided, racial justice impacts more than the economy, but also the health, wellness, and financial security of individuals and families.

This session builds on the traditional “business case for diversity” that argues diversity is good for business to examine how racial justice reconciles previous inequities to advance an equitable workforce and society.

The Pursuit of Racial Justice
Racial justice requires a strategic commitment that involves identifying racial inequities within the institution and engaging in activities designed to eliminate racial inequities and disparities. Racial inequities exist in education, healthcare, the workforce, government, and other systems and institutions individuals participate in or seek assistance from. Because racial inequities are so pervasive and structured within organizational values, goals, and policies and practices, they are challenging to identify. This session provides participants with an advanced understanding of racial equity and provides resources for engaging internal and external stakeholders in racial equity initiatives. The session will also focus on the challenges and opportunities involved in pursuing racial justice.

The Racial Frame
Racial justice seeks to identify racial inequities and address these inequities by developing policies and practices that promote the inclusion and engagement of all individuals. Understanding how racial inequities manifested and maintained is critical to advancing racial justice. Research argues that individuals overlook racial inequities because we are socialized and educated through a White racial frame. This session introduces participants to the “White Racial Frame” and how this frame is maintained in society and institutions.

Diversity Implicates Differences
Racial inequities promote racial oppression. Racial oppression is defined as the systemic and institutional abuse of power by one racial group at the expense of other racial groups to maintain and the activities the dominant group employs to maintain privilege and power. Oppression is built on the ideology some groups are more superior than others. Because dominant racial groups organize and maintain policies, practices, values, and norms, identifying oppressive systems and structures can be challenging. Because racial oppression divides individuals and communities into “structural” groups, racial justice work tends to evoke divisive voices and actions that work to preserve the dominant group and dominant ideology. These ideologies are so engrained in our institutions that advocating or challenging change to systems, structures, policies, and practices instituted centuries ago, challenges what many understand to be “the American way.” This session provides participants with strategies and resources to pursue racial justice and reduce the divisiveness race-based initiatives tend to evoke strategically and effectively.

Moving Beyond Diversity and Inclusion
As companies and organizations have committed to racial justice, many have engaged in traditional diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) resources and activities. Advancing racial justice requires more than examining individual biases or privileges, it demands institutions to assess their existing policies, practices, norms, and traditions, for institutional biases, inequities, or oppressive practices. This session focuses on how institutions can engage in traditional DEI initiatives to advance racial justice; however, to address systemic and institutional racism, the institution must make additional commitments. The session will discuss how to move beyond DEI work to advance racial equity and racial justice.