Interventions to mitigate, resist, or undo structural racism

Kaikōrero: Professor Derek Griffith, Professor Chandra Ford
Ringa Hāpai: Professor Jennifer Curtin
Professor Derek Griffith states the need for us to envision the improved future we want to create by being clear and concrete about exactly what we’re talking about. Social justice is about opportunities and outcomes, ultimately it’s about outcomes because its essentially not equity if it doesn’t produce equal outcomes. This can mean treating people differently because not all people are the same. Griffith outlines many different facets of structural racism and emphasises that simply addressing structural racism does not make a society well, we also have to create the conditions for health and wellbeing by perpetuating positive values and building from indigenous strengths; highlighting the importance of connections between people ‘whanaungatanga’. He explains 4 ways to create structural change: Mitigate, Resist, Undo, and Create.
Professor Chandra Ford states that for racism to persist it must evolve. She provides definitions of race and ethnicity as social constructs and describes how these emerge in place; from historical, societal and ancestral elements. Ford illustrates that ‘race’ is not only used to define minority populations but also ‘whiteness’, where the ability to exercise citizenship is the defining characteristic. Racial relations are maintained by a hegemonic system where values are accorded to sub-populations relative to one other and maintained in such a way that these hierarchies remain fixed.
In closing comments Griffith suggests that we might counter the anti-equity brigade with a softening of the heart rather than a factual argument; engaging the arts to create space for people to grapple with things that they are holding on to that we know are fundamentally untrue. Ford focuses on the need for us to tell our own stories, providing counter narratives that speak back to society and respond to assumptions. In fact it is these stories policy makers want to hear, they want to hear about lived experiences.

This webinar was recorded on Sunday 27th March during the Te Tiriti-based Futures & Anti-racism 2022 online conference held 19-28 March 2022, in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Join the conversation in our Facebook group:
Be the first to comment