Anti-Racism Resources for Everyone in the Workplace

Feel like you’re doing your part to support racial equity in your workplace? No matter your role in an organization, you can be a leader through actions and behaviors fostering a culture of respect and fairness, and supporting efforts to stamp out racial bias. These five articles are quick, powerful reads that offer up new ways to combat systemic racism and create an inclusive environment in any work setting.  


The Difference Between First-Degree Racism and Third-Degree Racism
The Atlantic

John Rice, founder and CEO of the nonprofit Management Leadership for Tomorrow, sets the stage by defining racism by degrees:

  • First-degree – taking actions that people of color view as overtly prejudiced
  • Second-degree – opposing or turning one’s back on anti-racism efforts
  • Third-degree – creating conditions that shatter somebody else’s future aspirations.

Rice also shares his father’s “playbook to put racism to rest,” which calls on major employers to adopt practices that demonstrate that Black lives matter to them, including, “(1) acknowledging what constitutes third-degree racism so there is no hiding behind a lack of understanding or fuzzy math, (2) committing to developing and executing diversity plans that meet a carefully considered and externally defined standard of rigor, and (3) delivering outcomes in which the people of color have the same opportunities to advance.”


U.S. Businesses Must Take Meaningful Action Against Racism
Harvard Business Review

Professors from the University of Virginia and Georgetown University share three common missteps to avoid (“silence, defensiveness, and overgeneralizing”), along with a framework for immediate steps to take (“acknowledge, affirm, act”).


Taking Steps to Eliminate Racism in the Workplace
SHRM

While it’s geared to managers and HR teams, the information and advice in this article are applicable to a wider audience. It begins with an appeal to recognize pervasive and systemic racism in the American workplace, and how efforts to create diverse, multicultural, and inclusive workforce can be undermined by microaggressions (“indirect, subtle or even unintentional acts of discrimination against members of a marginalized group”). Also included is a case study of the racial bias training Starbucks undertook to “create awareness of unconscious biases, foster empathy, and build social connections” following the arrests of two Black men at a Philadelphia store in 2018.


4 Ways You Can Tackle Racial Discrimination In Your Workplace
Forbes

This article delivers straightforward advice on the ways employers can take meaningful action to tackle racism in the workplace:

  • Keep the conversation going.
  • Embed anti-racism into your values, training and actions.
  • Spread awareness.
  • Cultivate diversity and tackle unconscious bias.

What it means to be an anti-racist company
CNBC Make It

Experts weigh in on what it means to be an anti-racist employer and what it actually looks like in practice. Topics covered include:

  • Owning up to systemic racism in the workplace.
  • Examples of what anti-racism at work looks like.
  • How workplace training can help, and where it falls short.
  • A new workplace contract between employers and employees.

Related Topics

Anti-Racism Resources for College Students
Resources for Discussing Race and Racism with Middle School and High School Students
7 resources for Talking to Elementary-age Kids about Racism and Equality
Together, We Can Shape a Brighter Future

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