Five Steps Towards Partnering with Higher Education to solve Systemic Racism

James Rosseau, Sr.
5 min readJul 24, 2020

Link to Video and Audio at the bottom

When we think of racism, we often think of it on an individual level: insults being thrown on the streets, violent threats, or people being shunned from venues. This is commonly what we picture racism to look like, but institutional and systemic racism is often left unchecked, being far more subtle.

In the realm of higher education, Greg Hanifee shares that issues such as the wealth gap between white students and black or brown students, inclusivity for faculty and students, and even career paths for students are affected by systemic racism. As the Associate Dean of Degree Programs and Operations for the Kellogg School of Management, Greg Hanifee joins us to discuss what being an ally against systemic racism means in the academic world, what it means in relationships, in influencing the futures of many students, and as a person trying to do better by society.

WHAT IT MEANS TO BE AN ALLY

How do you become an ally? How are you sure that what you are doing is genuine allyship? It is now not enough to simply say that you are supportive of a particular cause. People are becoming more critical of the actions that people actually take in order to assert allyship.

Greg says that allyship begins with an internal reflection and asking yourself, “what do I need to do to take action?” Greg’s first answer was that as a leader at an institution, he influences the lives of many students and that his voice matters.

“So what do I need to do, not just to talk but also to show action? How do I convene the right conversations? So I think, for me, it’s been a process of understanding what is my responsibility to make change happen? I think we’re learning there are different places on the spectrum of being an ally, and there’s a space for everybody along that spectrum. But I also had to think about personally, ‘What does it mean for me? What do I need to do?’”

UNDERSTANDING INSTITUTIONAL RACISM

In dealing with institutional racism, we often need to start by examining the biases that have developed over years of practice in various industries and fields. Greg shares that the educational sector, in…

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James Rosseau, Sr.

Chief Executive Officer and Founder of The Corelink Solution