This second week, the theme is “Healing.”

Today’s topic is Levels of Racism: Healing From Internalized Racism 


01 Learn

Of the four levels of racism (internalized, interpersonal, institutional, and systemic – for a summary of these check out this link), internalized can be the hardest to see and is often the hardest to talk about. And yet for healing to happen, what is otherwise unseen must be named. Internalized racism can manifest as internalized racial inferiority on the part of Black, Indigenous and People of Color and as internalized racial superiority for White people.

To learn more, watch this short 3 min video by Dee Watts-Jones, which focuses on internalized racial inferiority, as well as this short 2 min segment with Hugh Vazquez. Also take a look at this page from the Dismantling Racism website which lifts up elements of both internalized inferiority and internalized white superiority. 

02 Reflect

  • Consider how you relate to these notions of internalized racial inferiority and superiority. Is either one familiar to you? If so, how do they show up in your life? How do they show up in your workplace, school, place of worship and/or community? How do they interact with feelings associated with other aspects of your identity (gender, age, ethnicity, class status, etc.)? Consider writing, drawing, singing or embodying your reactions in movement. 
  • See if you can identify any specific feelings as they surface while doing this reflection (refer to the Feelings Wheel from last week). What comes up? What messages do these feelings convey?


03 Act

  • Engage others in this conversation about internalized racial inferiority and internalized white superiority. Look for evidence of how these internalizations show up externally through interactions in your community, school, place of worship and workplace. 
  • Form race-based caucuses to take these conversations deeper. For more information on and resources for supporting caucusing, see this page from Racial Equity Tools website.
  • Engage in healing work for yourself. See this short article from Anneliese SIngh, author of The Racial Healing Handbook. 


04 Digging Deeper, Time Permitting…