Tools for a National Campaign Against Racism

Public Health/Anti-Racism

During my year as a Radcliffe fellow, I will be developing tools to mobilize and engage all Americans in a National Campaign Against Racism.

Racism is a system of structuring opportunity and assigning value based on the social interpretation of how one looks (which is what we call “race”) that unfairly disadvantages some individuals and communities, unfairly advantages other individuals and communities, and saps the strength of the whole society through the waste of human resources.

Research partners are invited to work with me in three areas:

  • Refine and expand my roughly 25 allegories on “race” and racism. These allegories illuminate topics that are otherwise difficult for many Americans to understand or discuss.

The research partner(s) working in this area will help me use the power of social media to introduce my allegories to a wider audience; turn one or more of the allegories into lyrics for a song; develop “marketing” materials and messages based on one or more of the allegories; and support the widespread understanding and naming of racism in other ways that are still to be imagined.

  • Develop approaches for answering the question “How is racism operating here?” The mechanisms of institutionalized racism are in our structures, policies, practices, norms, and values, which are the elements of decision-making.

The research partner(s) working in this area will help me develop tools for evaluating structures, policies, practices, norms, and values to guide anti-racism activists toward strategic interventions; test the application of these tools in partnership with the Boston Chapter of the Campaign Against Racism; and link with other community-based anti-racism efforts to be explored.

  • Analyze data from the “Reactions to Race” module on the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. This optional module was used 47 times by 29 states between 2002 and 2014 and includes measures of socially-assigned race (“How do other people usually classify you in this country?”), race-consciousness (“How often do you think about your race?”), differential treatment at work, differential treatment when seeking health care, experience of “race”-based emotional upset, and experience of “race”-based physical symptoms.

The research partner(s) working in this area should have dataset management and data analysis experience and will help me develop a master dataset across the 13 years that the module was used; replicate earlier analyses done on single years of data; conduct analyses of interest to the student; write proposals for inclusion of these questions on other national data collection efforts; and develop new measures of racism as guided by our work.