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RIP Jim Crow

Fighting Racism through Higher Education Policy, Curriculum, and Cultural Interventions


Edited By Virginia Stead

Together we can build enough momentum to see Jim Crow lying silent and still in his grave.
This book shouts out ways that we can and must respond to the sickening accumulation of racially inspired and systemically sanctioned deaths. Today, we remember the passing of young, Black Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. In responding to this event, we are determined to dismantle the alexithymia (indifference to the suffering of others) that pervades our campuses. It is nothing less than a by-product of racism protected by the illusion of democracy.
RIP Jim Crow contains three sections: (1) Antiracist Theory and Policy; (2) Antiracist Administration, Curriculum, and Pedagogy; and (3) Antiracist Cultural Interventions.
Each of the 31 chapters contributes to the normalization of anti-racist policy within academic institutions, antiracist discourse within academic cultures, and institutional praxis that upholds speaking out against racist activity. The hope is that this book will also reduce racism in the broader world through academic relationships with community partners.
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Chapter Ten: Reducing Systemic Racism: Movements Toward Change in Higher Education



Reducing Systemic Racism

Movements Toward Change in Higher Education


[Author’s Note: Nicole Pulliam, Pietro Sasso, Tina R. Paone, and José M. Maldonado, Department of Speech Pathology, Educational Counseling, and Leadership. Correspondence concerning this chapter should be directed to Pietro Sasso, 400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, NJ 07764. Email:]


Racism and its impacts have been documented by a variety of researchers who have recognized its numerous developments throughout history (Weiner & Craighead, 2010). For the purpose of this chapter, racism is defined as actions of prejudice toward persons of color that are supported by a broader social construct. Embedded within this definition is the understanding that racism maintains a system of inequality for persons of color, favoring Whites’ access to social, economic, and educational resources (Horton & Sykes, 2008; Jones, 1997). Systemic racism includes unjust practices that benefit the dominant White population, including economic and educational inequalities along racial lines, while maintaining a rationalization that White privilege and power do not exist (Feagin, 2014). Racism serves to maintain such power differentials, constricting people of colors’ access to opportunities within higher education.

In university settings, there are varying degrees of established power and privilege that are immersed into the structure, policies, and practice. Often times, this can be perpetuated in a more subtle, yet harmful manner. This type of...

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