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Ways to Teach Systemic Oppression and Privilege

Foster Open Dialogue page

Module 3: Ways to Teach Systemic Oppression and Privilege

From Ways to Incorporate DEI into Your Courses
By David J. Luke, Chief Diversity Officer, University of Michigan, Flint



Background on Systemic Racism and Other Forms of Oppression

We experienced a dramatic increase in public discussion around systemic racism starting the summer of 2020, and witnessed a number of global protests against racism and inequality. Importantly, for many white Americans who were awakened to, and outraged by, systemic racism, this was their first significant engagement with the idea...more.


Systemic Privilege and Systemic Oppression

White students at HWCUs attain higher retention and graduation rates compared to students of color. Data for public institutions of higher education in the U.S. makes that clear. Because systemic racism influences housing, wealth, K-12 education, and any number of other factors prior to one’s entrance into college, colleges themselves often perpetuate systemic oppression...more.


How To Teach Systemic Privilege and Oppression

There are numerous books that one can use to begin teaching about systemic privilege and oppression. One classic text is Allan Johnson’s Privilege, Power & Difference, which is a relatively short, concise, and accessible overview. Alternatively, it would be helpful for faculty to consult...more.


Three Important Takeaways

Addressing systemic racism will take more fundamental, foundational change than many realize, as systemic racism is baked into all our major institutions in society, as is systemic sexism and so many other forms of oppression...more.