Care Transformation

Race and Ethnicity

Race (1) Refers to groups of people who have differences and similarities in biological traits deemed by society to be socially significant; (2) A political construction created to concentrate power with white people and legitimize dominance over non-white people; (3) A social construct that divides people into distinct groups based on characteristics such as physical appearance, ancestral heritage, cultural affiliation, and cultural history, ethnic classification, based on the social, economic, and political context of a society at a given period of time.

Ethnicity – A social construct that divides people into smaller social groups based on characteristics such as shared sense of group membership, values, behavioral patterns, language, political and economic interests, history and ancestral geographical base.

Racial and Ethnic Identity – An individual’s awareness and experience of being a member of a racial and ethnic group; the racial and ethnic categories that an individual chooses to describe him or herself based on such factors as biological heritage, physical appearance, cultural affiliation, early socialization, and personal experience.

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Recommended Books


The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Author:  Rebecca Skloot
Published: February 2, 2010
ISBN: 1400052173
ISBN13: 9781400052172
Pages:  370

“In telling Henrietta’s story, Skloot draws from primary sources and personal interviews to provide insightful narrative accounts of Henrietta’s childhood, young adulthood, diagnosis, illness, and tragic death. She also explores the birth and life of the immortal cell line HeLa, and shows how research involving HeLa has changed the landscape of medical research, leading to not only scientific and medical breakthroughs, but also new and evolving policies concerning the rights of patients and research subjects.” – Random House, Inc.


Hillbilly Elegy

Author: J.D. Vance
Published: June 28 2016
ISBN:  0062300547
ISBN13: 9780062300546
Pages:  257

“J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy, part memoir, part social analysis, is a fascinating examination of culture, class, and the American dream of working class white Americans in Appalachia. Hillbilly Elegy explores how and when “hillbillies” lost faith in the American dream and in any hope of upward mobility through the prism of Vance and his mother and grandparents. This examination of the personal and sociological problems facing America’s white working class is a text that will engage college and university students and would spark many probing conversations if used in First-Year Experience and classroom adoption.” – Harper Collins Publishers



The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

Author:  Michelle Alexander
Published:  January 5, 2010
ISBN: 1595581030
ISBN13: 9781595581037

Once in a great while a book comes along that changes the way we see the world and helps to fuel a nationwide social movement. The New Jim Crow is such a book. Praised by Harvard Law professor Lani Guinier as “brave and bold,” this book directly challenges the notion that the presidency of Barack Obama signals a new era of colorblindness. With dazzling candor, legal scholar Michelle Alexander argues that “we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.” By targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control—relegating millions to a permanent second-class status—even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness. In the words of Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, this book is a “call to action.” – The New Press

Medical Apartheid:  The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present

Author: Harriet A. Washington
Published: January 9, 2007
ISBN: 0385509936
ISBN13: 9780385509930
Pages: 501

“Medical Apartheid is the first and only comprehensive history of medical experimentation on African Americans. Starting with the earliest encounters between black Americans and Western medical researchers and the racist pseudoscience that resulted, it details the ways both slaves and freedmen were used in hospitals for experiments conducted without their knowledge—a tradition that continues today within some black populations. It reveals how blacks have historically been prey to grave-robbing as well as unauthorized autopsies and dissections. Moving into the twentieth century, it shows how the pseudoscience of eugenics and social Darwinism was used to justify experimental exploitation and shoddy medical treatment of blacks, and the view that they were biologically inferior, oversexed, and unfit for adult responsibilities. Shocking new details about the government’s notorious Tuskegee experiment are revealed, as are similar, less-well-known medical atrocities conducted by the government, the armed forces, prisons, and private institutions.” – Penguin Random House

White Fragility: Why it’s so hard for White People to Talk about Racism

Author: Robin DiAngelo
ISBN: 0807047414
ISBN13: 9780807047415

Pages: 192

“In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’” (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.” – Beacon Press


What Truth Sounds Like: Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversation about Race in America

Author: Michael Eric Dyson
Published: June 5, 2018
ISBN: 1250199417
ISBN13: 9781250199416
Pages: 304

“In 2015 BLM activist Julius Jones confronted Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton with an urgent query: “What in your heart has changed that’s going to change the direction of this country?” “I don’t believe you just change hearts,” she protested. “I believe you change laws.”

The fraught conflict between conscience and politics – between morality and power – in addressing race hardly began with Clinton. An electrifying and traumatic encounter in the sixties crystallized these furious disputes.

In 1963 Attorney General Robert Kennedy sought out James Baldwin to explain the rage that threatened to engulf black America. Baldwin brought along some friends, including playwright Lorraine Hansberry, psychologist Kenneth Clark, and a valiant activist, Jerome Smith. It was Smith’s relentless, unfiltered fury that set Kennedy on his heels, reducing him to sullen silence.

Kennedy walked away from the nearly three-hour meeting angry – that the black folk assembled didn’t understand politics, and that they weren’t as easy to talk to as Martin Luther King. But especially that they were more interested in witness than policy. But Kennedy’s anger quickly gave way to empathy, especially for Smith. “I guess if I were in his shoes…I might feel differently about this country.” Kennedy set about changing policy – the meeting having transformed his thinking in fundamental ways.

There was more: every big argument about race that persists to this day got a hearing in that room. Smith declaring that he’d never fight for his country given its racist tendencies, and Kennedy being appalled at such lack of patriotism, tracks the disdain for black dissent in our own time. His belief that black folk were ungrateful for the Kennedys’ efforts to make things better shows up in our day as the charge that black folk wallow in the politics of ingratitude and victimhood. The contributions of black queer folk to racial progress still cause a stir. BLM has been accused of harboring a covert queer agenda. The immigrant experience, like that of Kennedy – versus the racial experience of Baldwin – is a cudgel to excoriate black folk for lacking hustle and ingenuity. The questioning of whether folk who are interracially partnered can authentically communicate black interests persists. And we grapple still with the responsibility of black intellectuals and artists to bring about social change.

What Truth Sounds Like exists at the tense intersection of the conflict between politics and prophecy – of whether we embrace political resolution or moral redemption to fix our fractured racial landscape. The future of race and democracy hang in the balance.” – MacMillan Publishers

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Recommended Videos

Where Heritage = Hate: The Truth about the Confederacy in America

“A presentation by Jeffery Robinson, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of the Trone Center for Justice and Equality.

President Trump claims that removing Confederate symbols amounts to erasing history. False. This is about whether we as a nation choose to honor those who made their names fighting for white supremacy and slavery. Taking down these symbols from our public spaces is a critical step toward rooting out racial injustice and creating a more inclusive and just society.

We need to be informed for this fight. Jeffery Robinson will speak about the dark history of the Confederacy and the monuments built in public spaces around the country – what these symbols really mean and how they’ve been used by politicians to rewrite history and incite racial violence. Then we’ll roll up our sleeves and join the movement to take down every last one.” – ACLU Washington


Vernā Myers: How to Overcome our biases? Walk boldly toward them

“Our biases can be dangerous, even deadly — as we’ve seen in the cases of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner, in Staten Island, New York. Diversity advocate Vernā Myers looks closely at some of the subconscious attitudes we hold toward out-groups. She makes a plea to all people: Acknowledge your biases. Then move toward, not away from, the groups that make you uncomfortable. In a funny, impassioned, important talk, she shows us how.” – TEDX Beacon Street


Kimberlé Crenshaw: The Urgency of Intersectionality

“Now more than ever, it’s important to look boldly at the reality of race and gender bias — and understand how the two can combine to create even more harm. Kimberlé Crenshaw uses the term “intersectionality” to describe this phenomenon; as she says, if you’re standing in the path of multiple forms of exclusion, you’re likely to get hit by both. In this moving talk, she calls on us to bear witness to this reality and speak up for victims of prejudice.” – TEDWomen 2016 


Alice Goffman: How we’re priming some kids for college – and others for prison

In the United States, two institutions guide teenagers on the journey to adulthood: college and prison. Sociologist Alice Goffman spent six years in a troubled Philadelphia neighborhood and saw first-hand how teenagers of African-American and Latino backgrounds are funneled down the path to prison — sometimes starting with relatively minor infractions. In an impassioned talk she asks, “Why are we offering only handcuffs and jail time?” – TED2015


Dorothy Roberts: The problem with race-based medicine

“Social justice advocate and law scholar Dorothy Roberts has a precise and powerful message: Race-based medicine is bad medicine. Even today, many doctors still use race as a medical shortcut; they make important decisions about things like pain tolerance based on a patient’s skin color instead of medical observation and measurement. In this searing talk, Roberts lays out the lingering traces of race-based medicine — and invites us to be a part of ending it. ‘It is more urgent than ever to finally abandon this backward legacy,’ she says, ‘and to affirm our common humanity by ending the social inequalities that truly divide us.’” – TEDMED 2015


David R. Williams: How racism makes us sick

“Why does race matter so profoundly for health? David R. Williams developed a scale to measure the impact of discrimination on well-being, going beyond traditional measures like income and education to reveal how factors like implicit bias, residential segregation and negative stereotypes create and sustain inequality. In this eye-opening talk, Williams presents evidence for how racism is producing a rigged system – and offers hopeful examples of programs across the US that are working to dismantle discrimination.” – TEDMED 2016


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Recommended Podcasts

Podcast: American Civil Liberties Union – At Liberty
Episode: Patrisse Cullors on a Lifetime of Activism and the Founding of Black Lives Matter
Created: July 12, 2018
Duration: 28 minutes
Overview:  On the eve of the five-year anniversary of the creation of Black Lives Matter, Patrisse Cullors discusses the life that led her to co-found one of the most consequential racial justice movements of our time. She talks about the evolution of the organization since its inception, what it’s like to live under surveillance, the books that inspired her, and more.
Listen: Click here

Episode: Desmond Meade and Dale Ho on Restoring the Right to Vote
Created: July 19, 2018
Duration: 25 minutes and 52 seconds
Overview: The 14th Amendment, ratified exactly 150 years ago, promises equal protection to everyone. But it’s also used to strip the right to vote from millions of Americans who have been convicted of felonies. How did this happen, and who’s affected? Desmond Meade talks to At Liberty about his campaign that could restore voting rights to a huge number of Floridians. We also hear from the ACLU’s Dale Ho, about why the Florida initiative could tip the scales — in a good way — for the rest of the country.
Listen: Click here


Podcast: Café – Re-Made in America
Episode: I’m not White and I’m not a Man – Making it in Media with Maria Hinojosa
Created: June 12, 2018
Duration: 28 minutes
Overview: Maria Hinojosa is the anchor and Executive Producer of NPR’s “Latino USA,” the longest-running Latino-focused program on public media. She also hosts “In The Thick,” Futuro Media Group’s political podcast. Over the past three decades, Maria has reported for PBS, CBS, WNBC, CNN and NPR, and has won dozens of awards, including: four Emmys, the John Chancellor Award, the Studs Terkel Community Media Award, two Robert F. Kennedy Awards, the Edward R. Murrow Award, and the Ruben Salazar Lifetime Achievement Award. Maria talks with Bassem about embracing two cultures in her childhood as an immigrant from Mexico, being the first Latina at NPR, and what she’s done to further the diversification of journalism in America.
Listen: Click here

Podcast: New York Times – Still Processing
Episode: Asian Americans Talk about Racism and We Listen – Part 1
Created: June 28, 2018
Duration: 36 minutes and 5 seconds
Overview: This week and next, we’re doing something different. After witnessing an awful instance of anti-Asian racism at a movie theater, we couldn’t stop thinking about how this type of racism is rampant in American culture, both on the screen and off. At first, we wanted to talk about it. But then, we realized that we needed to listen. For the next two episodes, we hand the microphones over to our Asian-American colleagues, friends and listeners to hear about their experiences with racism. From Pablo Torre (of ESPN) to Emily Yoshida (of Vulture) to Parul Sehgal (of The Times) and more, we hear about childhood traumas, politicization, pop culture and hierarchies of oppression as they relate to Asian-American identity. The ideas are varied and complicated, conflicting and nuanced — which makes sense for a hugely diverse community that makes up almost 6 percent of the American population. We’ll bring you the second part of this two-part series next week.
Listen: Click here

Episode: Asian Americans Talk about Racism, and We Listen – Part 2
Created: July 5, 2018
Duration: 34 minutes and 3 seconds
Overview: It’s the second installment of our two-part series on anti-Asian racism. Once again, we hand over the mics to our Asian-American colleagues, friends and listeners to hear about their experiences with dating, work and more as they relate to race and identity. We hear varied and nuanced perspectives — from the writer Jen Choi, the musician Simon Tam, the podcaster Andrew Ti and others — on what it feels like to be a part of the diverse community of Asian-Americans, which makes up almost 6 percent of the United States population. If you haven’t already, check out last week’s episode for Part 1 of this series.
Listen: Click here


Podcast: Scene on Radio: Seeing White
Episode:  Episode 31 – Turning the Lens (Seeing White, Part 1)
Created: February 15, 2017
Duration: 16 minutes and 33 seconds
Overview: Events of the past few years have turned a challenging spotlight on White people, and Whiteness, in the United States. An introduction to our series exploring what it means to be White.
Listen: Click here

Recommended Peer Reviewed Articles

Links to peer reviewed articles will be listed here soon.