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Systemic Racism

Key Terminology

Institutional Racism: "refers to the policies and practices within and across institutions that, intentionally or not, produce outcomes that chronically favor, or put a racial group at a disadvantage. Poignant examples of institutional racism can be found in school disciplinary policies in which students of color are punished at much higher rates that their white counterparts, in the criminal justice system, and within many employment sectors in which day-to-day operations, as well as hiring and firing practices can significantly disadvantage workers of color." [Aspen Institure, 2016]



Oppression: "the exercise of authority or power in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner. []

Types of oppression:

  • "Racism assumes that those from other races are actually genetically inferior human beings.
  • Sexism, or the belief that men are superior to women, has been an almost universal condition of civilization.
  • Colorism is a social pattern in which people are treated differently based on the amount of visible melanin in the skin.
  • Ableism is a social pattern in which people who are disabled are treated differently, to an unnecessary degree, than those who are not.
  • Sizeism is a social pattern in which people whose bodies fit social ideals are treated differently from people whose bodies do not.
  • Ageism is a social pattern in which people of a certain chronological age are treated differently, to an unnecessary degree, than those who are not."  [ThoughtCo]



Anti-oppression: "the strategies, theories, actions, and practices that actively challenge systems of oppression on an ongoing basis in one's daily life and in social justice/change work. Anti-oppression work seeks to recognize the oppression that exists in our society and attempts to mitigate its effects and eventually equalize the power imbalance in our communities." [Source]

Racial Equity Tools Glossary

The ASU Library acknowledges the twenty-three Native Nations that have inhabited this land for centuries. Arizona State University's four campuses are located in the Salt River Valley on ancestral territories of Indigenous peoples, including the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and Pee Posh (Maricopa) Indian Communities, whose care and keeping of these lands allows us to be here today. ASU Library acknowledges the sovereignty of these nations and seeks to foster an environment of success and possibility for Native American students and patrons. We are advocates for the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge systems and research methodologies within contemporary library practice. ASU Library welcomes members of the Akimel O’odham and Pee Posh, and all Native nations to the Library.