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Continuum on Becoming an Anti-Racist Multicultural Organization

Monocultural ==> Multicultural ==> Anti-Racist ==> Anti-Racist Multicultural

Racial and Cultural Differences Seen as Deficits ==> Tolerant of Racial and Cultural Differences ==> Racial and Cultural Differences Seen as Assets


An Exclusionary Institution

  • Intentionally and publicly excludes or segregates African Americans, Native Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans
  • Intentionally and publicly enforces the racist status quo throughout institution
  • Institutionalization of racism includes formal policies and practices, teachings, and decision making on all levels
  • Usually has similar intentional policies and practices towards other socially oppressed groups such as women, gays and lesbians, Third World Citizens, etc.
  • Openly maintains the dominant group’s power and privilege


A “Club” Institution

  • Tolerant of a limited number of “token” People of Color and members from other social identify groups allowed in with “proper” perspective and credentials
  • May still secretly limit or exclude People of Color in contradiction to public policies
  • Continues to intentionally maintain white power and privilege through its formal policies and practices, teachings, and decision making on all levels of institutional life
  • Often declares, “We don’t have a problem.”
  • Monocultural norms, policies and procedures of dominant culture viewed as the “right way”, “business as usual”.
  • Engages issues of diversity and social justice only on club member’s terms and within their comfort zone.

Symbolic Change

A Compliance Organization

  • Makes official policy pronouncements regarding multicultural diversity
  • Sees itself as “non-racist” institution with open doors to People of Color
  • Carries out intentional inclusiveness efforts, recruiting “someone of color” on committees or office staff
  • Expanding view of diversity includes other socially oppressed groups


  • “Not those who make waves”
  • Little or no contextual change in culture, policies, and decision making
  • Is still relatively unaware of continuing patterns of privilege, paternalism and control
  • Token placements in staff positions; must assimilate into organizational culture

Identity Change

An Affirming Institution

  • Growing understanding of racism as barrier to effective diversity
  • Develops analysis of systemic racism
  • Sponsors programs of anti-racism training
  • New consciousness of institutionalized white power and privilege
  • Develops intentional identity as an “anti-racist” institution
  • Begins to develop accountability to racially oppressed communities
  • Increasing commitment to dismantle racism and eliminate inherent white advantage
  • Actively recruits and promotes members of groups have been historically denied access and opportunity


  • Institutional structures and culture that maintain white power and privilege still intact and relatively untouched

Structural Change

A Transforming Institution

  • Commits to process of intentional institutional restructuring, based upon anti-racist analysis and identity
  • Audits and restructures all aspects of institutional life to ensure full participation of People of Color, including their world-view cultures and lifestyles
  • Implements structures, policies and practices with inclusive decision making and other forms of power sharing on all levels of the institutions life and work
  • Commits to struggle to dismantle racism in the wider community, and builds clear lines of accountability to racially oppressed communities
  • Anti-racist multicultural diversity becomes an institutionalized asset
  • Redefines and rebuilds all relationships and activities in society based on anti-racist commitments

Fully Inclusive Anti-Racist Multicultural Organization in a Transformed Society

  • Future vision of an institution and wider community that has overcome systemic racism and all other forms of oppression
  • Institution’s life reflects full participation and shared power with diverse racial, cultural and economic groups in determining its mission, structure, constituency, policies, and practices
  • Members across all identity groups are full participants in decisions that shape the institution, and inclusion of diverse cultures, lifestyles, and interest
  • A sense of restored community and mutual caring
  • Allies with other in combating all forms of social oppression
  • Actively works in larger communities (regional, national, global) to eliminate all forms of oppression and to create multicultural organizations.

© Crossroads Ministry, Chicago, IL: Adapted from original concept by Bailey Jackson and Rita Hardiman, and further developed by Andrea Avazian and Ronice Branding; further adapted by Melia LaCour, PSESD