How to start the process for making lasting change : An Invitation to the DTS Anti-Racism Primer

Updated: Apr 12, 2021

If anti-racism work feels overwhelming and you’re not sure where to start, or you are looking for ways to understand and address racism in aspects of daily life, keep reading. In addition, perhaps you’re renewing your commitment to this work and are looking for a way in, the Disrupt the Silence Anti-racism Primer is useful wherever you are in your anti-racism journey.

This document is a labor of love, a collaboration in conversation, and the culmination of the research and experience between four clinicians (BIPOC and white) from the East and West Coasts. Thank you to Adaobi Anyeji, PhD, Iesha Duncan, ACSW, Margot Coggins, LMFT, and Erica Hutchinson, PhD.

Just as the development of the Primer was both an intellectual and emotional experience for the creators who are also on their anti-racism journey, writing this blog and trying to communicate to you, how you might find a way into this document, is a small piece of my journey. It is our hope at DTS, that we will then pass the opportunity onto you and invite you to create an experience that will enable you to make use of this work in your internal, personal and professional life.

This tool is meant for a broad audience. It can be useful to the individual who is interested in deepening their anti-racist practice. It also has utilizations for teachers, trainers, employees or employers who wish to foster greater understanding of anti-racism within their institutions.

The Primer lays a foundation for understanding the different types of racism, how they impact BIPOC and White individuals differently, and what we can do about it. As a group of academics and clinicians, we sought to create a tool that could:

  • Define racism in a comprehensive way

  • Recognize overt and covert examples of structural, institutional, interpersonal, and internalized racism

  • Notice the personal and emotional impacts of racism

  • Identify ways to take meaningful action

Racism is insidious and can often be hard to identify because it is so ingrained into the systems we live and work. One of the ways to begin this work is to identify how racism manifests in clear cut ways. And then work from the outside in. DTS member, Dr. Stacy Aquipel said it so well, “In order to understand systemic racism we must look at the interweaving of structures that hold all of the elements together-- we see it through the structures and institutions in which we belong.” In other words, we can all start exactly where we are at. We don’t need to look any further than the spaces and places we already inhabit.

We invite you to take in this document, enter wherever you are drawn and to continue to revisit it over time. We hope that you will share with us ways in which you engaged with the Primer and/or how you might use it to Disrupt the Silence. We welcome your comments below...

We also encourage you to join DTS by entering your email HERE!

Stay Tuned for a Video Conversation with the creators of the Primer with fellow members of Disrupt The Silence...

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