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Notes from Cracking the codes video

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Understanding racial inequity as a precursor to building strategies that address racial and socio-economic barriers.

A systemic approach as a frame for supporting exploration, analysis and gathering wisdom in ways that are communal and collaborative

Racialization: Racial identities are not ixed categories. They are shaped by history, nationality, gender, class and identity politics

Video - Cracking the Code

Core message of the Model

  • inequity is embedded in history, culture and identity
    • and has internal and external components
    • components are influenced by power and economics
    • internal component consist of Bias, Privilege and Internalized Racism
    • external components play out in relationships - interpersonal, institutional and structural
    • all layers are happening simultanuously and are turning our inequity


  • need in include historical legacy into our considerations
  • Slavery
  • land accumulation
  • structural and supported by the government
  • religious enforcements
  • Hawaii, Africa
  • Slums
  • it is not part of the school education
  • watered down stories in the education system
    • native people as savages (now language)
    • primitive and uncivilized
  • need to learn history in a new way
  • Mashall island bombs testing with cultures around that
  • do the stories get told in other ways

Identity and Culture

  • racially the same
  • 99.1% the same
  • psyche does anything to remove dissence
  • closed cultural groups isolating
  • white people as ideal in media
  • lines of markers of what is good and the rest of the world
  • GOOD (see above) - good books, family, taste, jobs, investments,…
  • college systems - mainly white and in special regions
  • being confronted with being the OTHER person
  • How does your environment shape culture and identity? (that connects to racism)
  • Identity is complex - we need to become more flexible in navigating that


  • what is whiteness
    • unconscious bias heavily among white
    • stereotypes and views
  • assumption: my experience is the experience for others too
  • differentiation e.g. when filling out forms
  • fear of angry black man behavior - hides oppressions and being abused in school


  • assumption I can give advice because I’m white
  • behavior of always being right - and explaining others how the world works
  • internalized white superiority
  • privilege systems - need to make that visible
  • myth of meritocracy
    • the unit of the society is the individual
    • untrue: systems one is born into matters a lot
  • inability to see systematically
  • careers owed to white privileges … so working hard is often connected to a structure
  • difficult to recognize systems where you are dominant
  • What are your entitlements that other don’t have, that you even don’t have to think about them. Derive Power and abusive Power from that
  • take their dominance for granted
  • embeds the example with the grocery store
  • use the privilege to point out the injustice and unfairness … you need to be aware!
  • bad education plays a big role. People are often not at fault and it needs education to get out of that misinformation

Internalized Racism

  • skin color treating … consideration what is beautiful
  • internalized colorism
  • dissatisfaction of who we are as being a person of color
  • Hiding oneself, more justifying for behaviors (reaction of more pleasing, feeling of being less capable)
  • entry barries … tinted by blackness
  • treating people differently e.g. when shopping – treating someone more poorly than another
  • becoming someone to be avoided
  • being challenged on every level vs. other persons not being challenged
  • feeling of not being capable
  • history gets passed along
  • post traumatic slave syndrome
    • black folks downplaying successes from their children connected to previous adaptations to slavery
    • adaptation to live in a hostile environment
  • we can’t fix it if we don’t look


  • Oppressed and oppressing
  • call out the wrong behavior
    • think about what you’re doing
  • think about the message you send to young people
  • concerted effort to make others foreign
  • residential segregation
  • we need to form interpersonal groups
  • cut through the limited media noise - envy and fear
    • just a handful of people and very less connection to average people from different ethic groups
  • when we make decision how we treat other people and what we make possible


  • written and unwritten rules of an institution
  • white boy - smart, boys will be boys … vs. same behavior of a black boy … we need to monitor that
  • what is going on that we treat people so differently
  • boxing of roles and expectations … and how we accept people
  • race always deals with boxes
  • school - cops - news … all connected
  • example of latino male, vs. white male …
  • perception based on skill color
  • personal bias and systemic mistreatment
  • need to have a sense of racism through riles and regulations or missing them


  • who is making the decisions about communities?
  • often decision makers are not part of it
  • different access to resources
  • where is the money going
  • housing segregation affects school financing
  • you need to consider that as a system
  • limited access to positions
  • look at institutions - universities, schools
  • look at culture (language, imagines, approaches) and look at their history
  • who is part of the power structure
  • these connected systems create snowball effects
  • people in position of power don’t experience the need to think about the racism

Choosing to Heal

Reflective questions

  • What is happening around us?_
  • What stories are walking by us?
  • Who do I need to become to create space for those stories to be shared/show-up in ways
  • understand the importance of setting intentions as the primary groundwork for creating healing spaces that are meaningful for all?

Sample questions to ask yourself to help set intentions and prime the space:

  • What values am I standing on to create (healing, courage, brave space, etc.)?
  • Who is at the center? Who is at the margins?
  • Who am I being as I create this X; how does that inform what will occur with X
  • Who am I becoming and how is that aligned with what I am creating for X?
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