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Systemic Racism

Purpose statement

Throughout this country’s history, the hallmarks of American democracy – opportunity, freedom, and prosperity – have been largely reserved for white people through the intentional exclusion and oppression of people of color. The deep racial and ethnic inequities that exist today are a direct result of structural racism in America: the historical and contemporary policies, practices, and norms that create and maintain white supremacy.

This guide is intended to provide a foundational overview and introduction to systemic racism in the United States. It includes resources to understand the structural inequities and issues that have impacted BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) over generations. 

This guide is by no means an exhaustive list of anti-oppressive initiatives nor does it capture all of the many facets of the larger conversations about the issues listed here. This guide serves as an introduction to these issues and as a starting place for finding information from a variety of sources. It will continue to develop in response to evolving anti-oppression issues and community needs.

Trigger Warning

Some of the topics discussed in this guide may be triggering for some individuals.

A list of self-care, coping, and mental health resources can be found in this guide.

Library Statement of Committment

The ASU Library acknowledges the twenty-two 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.