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Mind the Pack: Antiracism in the Workplace

PRSSA Nevada kicked off the semester with a meeting about anti-racism in the workplace. Our guest speaker, Dr. Daniel Enrique Pérez, is currently the associate dean for the College of Liberal Arts. He is also an associate professor of Chicanx and Latinx studies, where his research includes Chicanx and Latinx cultural production, comparative gender, race, ethnicity, and sexuality studies. During his presentation, students learned about the:

· history of racism,

· privilege,

· equality vs. equity and

· tools to engage in introspection and extrospection.

Dr. Pérez shared a brief history of racism, its roots, and how it is still rampant today. Racist practices and institutions have not disappeared, only changed form. This shift enables society to be complacent, and the most vulnerable populations to be taken advantage of. Too many people claim to “not see color,” a sentiment guilty of allowing them to turn a blind eye to the abuse suffered by people in their community.

Using that foundation of knowledge, Dr. Pérez went on to discuss privilege and how it may look like through different lenses. During this portion of the presentation, students were separated into breakout groups. Each group brainstormed examples of privilege and the ways in which it gives power to those who have it. This is a power imbalance that has existed since society was first created in the United States. To utilize privilege in a beneficial way, those with privilege must elevate the voices of an oppressed community, rather than speak for them.

Individuals face different struggles and disadvantages. To want an equal society is not enough. Dr. Pérez explained how making things fair is not enough; we must address the needs of the individual. Giving individuals the personalized tools, they need to succeed, in theory, will create a society of individuals capable of success.

In closing, Dr. Pérez left students with the tools needed for introspective and extrospective reflection. He provided links for helpful resources, including books and podcasts, on the topic of racism. He also provided a graph for gauging an institution’s move to become anti-racist and multi-cultural. The graph will be included in this blog and the links to the resources will be in the bio.

We hope everyone who attended left with valuable information!

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