Written by Kay Mei
What is systemic racism?
It’s a form of racism that is deeply embedded in the everyday practices of an organization (public and private) or society. Systemic racism, also referred to as institutional racism, presents issues of discrimination based on an individuals race or ethnicity. These issues are present in employment, housing, healthcare, education, the criminal justice system, etc.
The occurances of systemic racism are not new in our society. However, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic there has been an increase in the amount of racial injustices that have been publicized. The murders of Admaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd among countless others sparked the rise of Black Lives Matter protests all around the world. It has created a widespread of support nationwide and internationally.
The influences of social media platforms such as Twitter, Tik Tok, Instagram, FaceBook, etc. have allowed individuals to share their own stories and experiences of racism under the hashtag #BlackInTheIvory. Users have also banded together from various platforms to show their solidarity towards the Black Lives Matter movement as allies. It has also pushed for companies to acknowledge and denounce the structural racism that exisists in our society. Companies like Nike, Microsoft, Peloton, etc. have pledged to support and address changes in institutional behaviors.
The statements of solidarity and donations are a start towards abolishing systemic racism. However, we need to continue to contend against the barriers that are pervasive in our policies and institutions. We as a nation need to change our views and examine our consciousness to see how we can help contribute to the destroying of these racial divisions.
As sisters of Alpha Phi Gamma, it’s important that we encourage the empowering of others to unite and combat against racism. We encourage and will work to better educate ourselves, use our privledge to support one another, be proactive, confront racism, and be intolerant of intolerance.