Employee Orientation and Training Manual

                              Section 26

Estimated time to complete this section: 1 hour

    Ask your Supervisor to check off these areas on your Orientation
     Checklist after you have read them.

                      You will need your Orientation Workbook and a pen to complete
                      this module.

The LSS Anti-Racism Stand

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota recognizes that race does matter and that living in a
racialized society has implications on multiple levels: individual, cultural, institutional and
societal. Racism is systemic and traditional patterns and practices discriminate against many
racial and ethnic groups in a way that is so pervasive that it is often invisible. Racism, like other
“-isms,” causes pain and humiliation and has far-reaching consequences. It prevents equality
in social services, education, jobs, housing, health care and immigration opportunities.
The purpose of this policy is to foster anti-racist values and attitudes and develop anti-racist
knowledge and practices within LSS, among the Board, staff, volunteers and clients. In order
to promote positive race and ethnic relations and to eliminate discrimination, LSS is committed
to the removal of barriers through organizational change and to providing leadership in the
development and implementation of an anti-racism policy and anti-racist practices and

The LSS Anti-Racism Policy
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota:

      Actively fosters an environment that is free of racism, discrimination, bias, and
       harassment where all individuals are treated with dignity, safety and hope.
      Does not tolerate prejudice, racism, discrimination or harassment of any kind either on
       an organizational or a personal level. LSS will identify, confront and eliminate barriers
       that may prevent all people of LSS from participating fully in the organization and in the
       larger community.
      Is committed to awareness of and appreciation for racial diversity and supports the
       understanding that people from diverse racial communities contribute to the growth,
       enrichment and strength of LSS and of the larger community.
      Promotes full inclusiveness for all races, languages, faiths and cultures. LSS takes
       responsibility to ensure that the communities we serve and the members of our
       organization see themselves valued and reflected within the organization.


1. Definitions
When discussing anti-racism there are several terms which may be used to gain a common
understanding. Below are many of the most commonly used terms in our conversation at LSS
regarding anti-racism.

Race – Socially constructed term used to identify a group based on shared physical

Racialized Society –
   A society where “we are never unaware of the race of a person with whom we interact”.
   A society wherein race matters profoundly for differences in life experiences, life
      opportunities, and social relationships.
   A society that allocates differential economic, political, social, and even psychological
      rewards to groups along racial lines; lines that are socially constructed.
   A society that continues the racialization process in various degrees.

Prejudice – Any preconceived judgment or opinion, either favorable or unfavorable.

Racism – (Prejudice + Power = Racism) Power is not just the control of one individual over
another but also the collective power expanded through political and economical systems
through educational, cultural, religious and other societal institutions. (Note: racism can be
active, passive, individual, institutional, cultural, and/or aversive.

Institutionalized Racism – Enforcement mechanisms, e.g., legal systems, rules, norms,
social sanctions, and belief systems that result in favorable or unfavorable outcomes for
individuals based on their race.

Stereotype – A standardized mental picture that is held in common by members of a group
and that represents an oversimplified opinion, prejudiced attitude, or uncritical judgment.

Discrimination – Differential treatment, intentional or not, of an individual/group, having the
effect of limiting their opportunities.

Anti-Racism – A personal and collective identity which embraces the intentional dismantling of
our racialized society and proactively builds racial harmony. The process of actively and
consistently confronting racism.

Anti-racist Multicultural Organization – Fully inclusive organization; reflects full participation
and mutual standing with diverse racial, cultural and economic groups.

Ally -
    A person, regardless of racial advantage or disadvantage, who works to dismantle our
       racialized society.

      A person who unites with, or forms an alliance with persons of a targeted group to resist

2. Individual Continuum of Racial Awareness
As LSS strives to become a multi-cultural, anti-racist organization, it is essential for us to
recognize that each of us are engaging in the process and dialogue with different ideas,
experiences and knowledge.

Some of our operating assumptions are as follows:

      We are all on a learning curve, at different places, and it is essential that we respect the
       place where each of us comes from and currently are.

      This process is not about shame or guilt, but our racial history and pre-conceived ideas
       may make it difficult to get around these feelings. We need to address these concerns
       constructively with our teams.

      Race is an emotive topic and we must give people space for this.

      All information presented is one way of looking at race and racism and working for
       institutional change, not the only way. We ask that you “try it on” for consideration.

      It is okay to have assumptions.

      All of us are racialized.

As acknowledged, each of us is at a different place in our journey toward multi-culturalism and
anti-racism. The Individual Continuum of Racial Awareness empowers us to see where we are
and how we can proceed along the path to becoming an anti-racism advocate. We may find
ourselves in any one of these five stages along the continuum, or overlapping between
multiple stages.

                          Individual Continuum of Racial Awareness
                             Adapted from Linda Miller, Minneapolis.

   1. Ignorance (not knowing)
      Color Blindness
      Lack of knowledge
      Comfort zone


2. Disequilibrium (disorder)
   Thoughts and beliefs challenged
   Realization of institutional racism
   Drawn out of comfort zone

3. Re-Organization (re-arrange/build)
   Re-evaluate thoughts and beliefs
   Recognized process
   Seek Knowledge
   Re-examine one’s identity
   Re-Structure priorities
   Impacted lifestyle
   Realization of internalized oppression
   Realization of white privilege

4. Transformation (the change)
   Clear understanding of racism and how it affects people
   Understanding of one’s self and identity
   Enriched knowledge of one’s culture
   Building of cross-cultural relationships
   Lifestyle changes
   Calls to action
   Different view of the world
   Acceptance of place/new comfort zone

5. Advocate/Activist (continue struggle for justice)
   See and act on racist actions
   Critical analysis of structure
   Work to create social change
   New identity
   New comfort zone
   New conscientiousness
   Work/life style changes
   Activities prioritized

             Question: In what stage or stages do you currently see yourself?


3. Becoming an Anti-Racism Ally
As we move along the continuum the following are steps that can help us in our journey to
becoming an anti-racism ally:

      Assume that racism is everywhere, everyday.

      Notice who the center of attention is and who the center of power is.

      Notice how racism is denied, minimized, and justified.

      Understand and learn from the history of whiteness and racism.

      Understand the connections between racism, economic issues, sexism, and other forms
       of injustice.

      Be strategic.

      Don’t confuse a battle with the war.

      Don’t call names or be personally abusive.

      Support the leadership of people of color.

      Learn something about the history of white people who have worked for racial justice.

      Don’t do it alone.

      Be intentional about gaining life experience.

                                                          From Uprooting Racism by Paul Kivel

             Question: What can you contribute to help yourself, your coworkers and the
             individuals you support through these steps?


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