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Home Resources Anti-Oppression Race Continuum on Becoming an Anti-Racist Multicultural Institution
Continuum on Becoming an Anti-Racist Multicultural Institution PDF Print E-mail
There is a developmental continuum through which groups engaged in the transformation process of becoming anti-racist multicultural organizations move.
  • That continuum begins with the de facto segregated institution (Stage 1). Moving to the next stage requires learning to appreciate diversity and beginning to raise awareness of oppression issues. Here the group begins to examine the nature of stereotyping and prejudice, and examines the consequences of behaviors stemming from prejudice.
  • At Stage 2, groups move into a passive, club-type institution, which may have a few token people of color. Moving to the next stage requires that groups understand the nature of oppression and begin to understand the need to take action against oppressive attitudes and behaviors.
  • From that step, a group begins to manifest a symbolic change with a commitment to being open (Stage 3). In this situation there is a desire for inclusion, even recruitment of people of color, but it remains symbolic with no contextual changes in culture, policies and decision making, and little awareness, if any, of the habit of privilege. Groups do begin to take action to stop oppressive actions.
  • Stage 4, the next level to which groups move, is an awakening, generally with the help of consultants and training, which stimulates a deeper analysis and an expanding view of all those whom diversity might include. Although there is a desire on this level to eliminate discriminatory practices, it is implemented within the context of the norms and practices of the dominant group's world view.
  • Moving to Stage 5 involves a group in making structural change and redefining itself, becoming willing to share power, problem solving, and decisions, to struggle together to find the win/win solution, opening up all aspects of the group's life to examination.
  • When this process is completed, a group is ready to become truly inclusive (Stage 6), understanding diversity as an asset and reflection of the group's culture. Use of power and decision making reflect the contributions of diverse peoples and their world views. The sense of community and mutual caring feels authentic and shapes the life of the group. Such a group has become anti-racist and multicultural.

? Unitarian Universalist Association.

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