Date: April 20, 2021
To: Professor Kraft and students
From: Vicky Vue
Student: University of Alaska Anchorage
Subject: Proposal for Establishing an Equality and Racial Justice Symposium for UAA
The reason for the proposal is to seek the possibility of establishing equality and racial justice on UAA campus.
Establishing an Equality and Racial Justice
Symposium in UAA
Prepared for: Zebadiah Kraft
Instructor of Technical Writing
University of Alaska Anchorage
Prepared by: Vicky Vue
April 20, 2021
After the course taught by Mr. Kraft, I have developed a proposal on a feasibility report on equality and racial justice, a technical communication class topic. The report’s main aim was to find better ways to improve people’s lives. And this is specified within the people of UAA. This made me put my focus just within the campus in the realization of equality and racial justice. The survey was conducted on the campus premises, where the results were used to compile the report’s discussion and conclusion. To ensure social justice, I need to realize equality and racial justice in any given societal setting. The larger American society is greatly reflected by the level of racial injustice and inequality within the campus.
Due to this imbalance within the society, there has been a significant impact on other institution areas like academics and other extra-curricular activities. It will be safer and provide an equal opportunity for all institutions to realize racial justice and equality within the UAA premises. The questionnaire was the primary source of data collection that we utilized. The main aim was to collect the data from individual students to find their perceptions on racial inequality and the lack of racial justice and equality around the campus. The survey was voluntary, and the data that I initially collected came from students who were more than willing to be involved in the survey.
In higher education, racial inequalities are widespread, and they hinder access to degree attainment by the students. Those groups affected are mainly blacks and other minority ethnic backgrounds. “I suggest that the chance of getting a place in the best universities related to cultural and social capital access” (Bhopal, 2017). According to Bhopal, higher education institutions’ inequalities continue to prevail, preventing the completion of degrees or certificates and admissions in certain universities. He suggests that the systems that values class and status caters to the needs of a minority rather than majority must be questioned and challenged for these inequalities to be addressed. Malcolm says that higher education in America has an equity problem, and it is reflected in the issues that the students, staff, and faculty must endure. They present racial injustice and inequality as the most persistent characteristics of the higher education system in our nation. The equality and racial issues are to be addressed where we will look at answering the research questions in this proposal, coming up with the main factors that lead to inequalities in UAA and how to solve them and strategies that will be put in place to ensure that we eradicate this problem and have future without racism.
Inequality and racial injustice are two very significant ills within our society. They impact various aspects of diversifying, and within UAA, they impact the relationship between students. Therefore, I wrote the feasibility report to address these aspects to establish a better and more conscious society.
Over the context of the UAA territory, there have been several cases of racial victimization. Students have been falsely accused or viewed differently because of their race. More importantly, the rates of inequality based on race, in this case, have also been seen evidently across a variety of areas such as eating areas and the prices.
In the recent past, there have been increasingly widespread racial inequalities in higher education institutions. This has affected the past performance of the students. Some groups have been affected by this type of racial inequality, like the blacks and other minor ethnic groups. Some of the victims are even not allowed to finish their certificates or degrees or even the admission itself. Bhopal suggested that the institutions cater to the minority rather than the majority being questioned about the inequalities making it a challenge. Thus, the equality and racial issues need to be addressed, and by this, we try to answer some of the questions or have some objectives in our research proposal (McNair et al. 2020). We need to develop the factors that lead to social inequalities and how we can solve them. The questionnaire that I will administer will have the following questions.
I will also be able to administer open-ended questions and multiple questions, which will enable me to understand all the positive and negative concerns that the people will have regarding the project and have ideas on how to continue with the research.
Segregation of students
Students dropping out of programs.
Depression and other mental health issues
Discrimination in resource distribution
This project’s scope will gather information around the UAA from the students, teaching staff, and the non-teaching staff regarding the potential of having racial equity issues and finding a way to address those issues. The untended results will be able to help UAA in prioritizing and funding racial equity. Some of the strategies and funding will include; conduct assessments and surveys that will be able to identify the extent of equity disparities in UAA. Be able to identify an equity-based decision-making framework to ensure equity in UAA. The total estimated cost budget for the research will be around fifty thousand dollars. This will be for the action plan, training, consulting projects, and other initiatives. I will not list the budget, but I will expect the ones approving the budget to include it as an expenditure for the function.
When the conversation about racism starts, it affects the equality side because you may not differentiate the two. You cannot be able to eliminate racism without first eliminating inequality. Racism can be eliminated by preaching, teaching, and emphasizing equality and how to treat others (McOliver et al., 2015). The two problems should be addressed simultaneously because if we emphasize one, the other may be forgotten, and other problems can also be ignored. And the conversation will remain the same on one issue; skin color vs. skin color, which is inappropriate. Apart from black and white issue, other issues are considered minor like; women, African Americans, Latinos, homosexuals, and many more. These minorities are mostly tied to culture and race. The first thing will be to help people think about equality because it will be easier to change and help people facing racism. It is a tremendous shame that we are in the 21st century, and people are still struggling, yet they play a significant role in the institution.
There are techniques that I used to identify racism and inequality cases in the system; one was the signs of systematic racism in the institution. For example, when many people of color not having access to the same economic and housing opportunities, or some staff receiving a smaller salary amount, some of the minor groups like native Americans, Latinos, and African American when they commit a crime they are being maltreated by the laws of the institution while the white population commits the same crime and are treated differently. For example, specific laws that do not allow the use of rent assistance vouchers or textbooks only focus on white history. Also, there are fewer blacks attending college than whites, and also blacks are dropping out of school at a higher rate than their white peers.
The other technique was to pay attention to the responses during a high-profile racial incidence. After such an incident, you find that they are trying to justify the situation, the main aim being to make the racial minority look like a villain. The next was to find the people who support the racist individual in question and the people who do not raise their voices to acknowledge or deny the protest. For example, most people will take such opportunities and go beyond to justify the situation by having a racial overtone saying that all the members of a certain race will have a similar fate. The same people also tried to draw attention to perceived injustices and violence against people of their race because they are unsympathetic to injustice or violence against minorities.
The following technique was to look for the double standards angled at minorities. When a person witnesses someone of the same race say or do something harmless but can be considered worth criticism, they might not mind. Whereas when a person from a different race does the same thing, the same person who did not mind becomes critical and extremely angry. For example, in school politics, a black politician says, “we do not need more education,” he/she may be criticized by the white students, but when a white politician says the same thing, they are less concerned.
Some factors have contributed to racism and inequality in UAA. Some of these are; categories that organize people into different groups, factions that revive the ingroup loyalty and intergroup competition, and segregation, strengthening the racist’s perceptions, beliefs, and preferences. These are the first three factors that are reviewed. The U.S government has formed a system where it categorizes people according to their race and segregates them 6n the basis of these categories (Horsford, 2016). An example is a research that shows that both adults and children have a positive feeling and act towards those they consider to be like them (ingroup). This interprets that there is a likelihood that they will treat people outside their social circle less favorably. In America, these groups do not include black Americans, which has kept the history of racial segregation that has kept most black and white communities separated.
The other factors that contribute to racism and inequality are hierarchy which makes people behave, think, and feel racist. A power that makes both macro and micro levels of racism be legislative. Media legitimizes the idealized representation and over the presentation of white Americans while minimizing and marginalizing people of other colors. And the last one is passivism which argues that some U.S citizens are empowered more and given more positions than others, and those differences are reinforced through biased media. This leaves a question of whether the denial of racism and inequality in a state or institution will make others do the same.
Among these factors, some have more impact than others, like passivism or passive racism. A scholar by the name of Roberts said as thousands take to the streets to protest against racism. “If people advantaged by the hierarchy remain passive, it is no surprise that those at the bottom cry out to be heard,” he added and said, “people have been crying for centuries.” Anti-racism is the other term that will be introduced in the conversation. For example, reactive anti-racism will be challenging racism anytime it appears, and proactive anti-racism will be challenging racism before it appears. The best thing we can do in the future is to stop asking people how they became racists and focus more on psychological processes, contextual influences, and developmental mechanisms to help them become anti-racists.
There are some effects of racism and inequality on the facilitator, workers, and students. Discrimination is the first one where individuals treat individuals differently based on their race, perceived, or actual group members or category. This is done in a way that is worse than the way people should be treated. This means that people of a particular group have been denied the law of equal protection against violence done on them. It can also be explained as intentional unfair treatment or unlawful treatment of a person based on their gender identity, race, color, age, or others. When a person or a group of people are maltreated based on partiality and prejudice, it leads to the development of emotions such as frustrations and anger, which later causes a severe or mild form of suffering. This anger is always directed at the person who caused it.
Other effects are caused by discrimination. These effects are only applicable when individuals are maltreated regarding their race, gender, age, physical disability, ethnic group, or t religion. The trust that may have been among the individuals is broken, which helps us to live in harmony. A person’s employment can also be negatively affected, housing, access to medical services, access to education, or even access to other public services. It can also violate a person’s human rights. Also, discrimination due to sexual, racial, or religious can lead to physical and mental consequences, like; stress, depression, and anxiety. Do these acts of discrimination. You can now confuse discrimination with terms like stereotype and prejudice. This is because stereotypes are images or pictures that we keep on our minds regarding certain racial or cultural groups without considering whether the images are true or false. When we stem from stereotypes, we go to prejudice, where an attitude of prejudice occurs when we prejudge a person, whether good or bad, because the stereotypes associated with a group or person being prejudged are true. Lastly, when we combine the two, we add an actual act of unfair treatment, where we direct those actions towards that person or group.
There are ways that we can establish effective racial justice and equality symposium and also implement. The first thing is creating awareness where the main object will be to build a racial equity awareness and analytical capacity in the institution, which will help to understand the key concepts. These concepts are; racial equity, multiracial systematic solutions and racism, implicit bias, and institutional racism. The shared knowledge and conceptual clarity will normalize a constructive and explicit conversation about a race. The next will be building the capacity of the students, workers, and staff by equipping them with tools, skills, resources, strategies, and relationships that will enable them to become advocates and influential leaders in the fight for racial justice. The last one is taking action by engaging the students, staff, workers, and the stakeholders on the ground to defeat institutional racism and advance racial justice. Some of these actions are internal, and others external.
The school and classroom have been filled with racial dynamics, disparities, and divisions. Something like systematic racism has found roots in the history and culture of institutions such that escaping has been difficult. Discussions about racism ate not in the school curriculum. The only thing they can do is either highlight a particular hero or teach social science and literature. The fact remains that this being a public institution, most students have to color, and almost 18% of the staff have color. This poses a challenge when white teachers and teachers of color approach the issue of race. The best way to have a real solution is when we address the real problem. All that is needed is a “teachable moment” or an opportunity to address race constructively and productively. But the opportunities have to be created, planned, and managed.
There’s also results that are associated with the equality and social justice symposiums in UAA. These are adequate health care in the institution. It is the responsibility of the UAA health care system to identify who gets what services, and they will know how much to sacrifice for one to get the care he or she needs. When people practice social justice in healthcare, learning will be made more accessible and more affordable due to access to healthcare; people with disabilities will also be protected. For many years the rights of these people have been ignored, and by practicing equality and social justice, they are finally getting a voice. The inclusion of disability rights is crucial for social justice to be called true justice for all.
Students, staff, and workers will be protected from religion-based discrimination. Religion is a central part and right of a person, and one should be denied such a right. According to social justice, they want all religions to be free and safe for everyone. That is why a person has a right to follow any religion; Social justice will also protect people from ageism. Older people in UAA are sometimes discriminated against, and age is why they might be expelled in favor of the younger students and disrespected in their day-to-day lives. This form of discrimination falls under the scope of social justice, thus providing security to the aged.; people who are discriminated against based on sexuality will also be protected (Schulze, 2016). LGBTQIA members of the community have been often targeted as ones to be discriminated in any part or area of their lives. That is why social justice plays a big part and focuses more on addressing this issue because it denies people the ability to learn/study, work, love, or live in most tragic cases. Treating these people with fairness is the one that is considered here UAA to be called “just.”
People that have suffered from racism will also be protected. This type of discrimination also makes it difficult for people to work, learn, live in peace and do more. One of the advantages of social justice is that people of every race will have equal opportunities; equality among the genders is improved. One of the oldest forms of injustice in the world was discrimination based on gender. The most oppressed group is women and girls, which became worse when they were also members of another oppressed population. Like race and religion, social justice works very hard to connect the gap and empower more women regardless of where they are.
The other is the promotion of economic equality. In UAA, the gap between the rich and the poor students seemed to expand continually. Some people were struggling to pay school fees while others were not, which was seen as unfair. Equality does not mean that everyone must be reached but at least meet their basic needs and learn without the fear that they may be chased away from the school. Social justice aims to secure everyone’s economic stability; there is an improvement in educational opportunities. Ending the era of poverty and being able to fulfill dreams are the results of education. Many people face discrimination from where they live, making them unable to get adequate education (Prochazka, 2016). Social justice aims to see that everyone gets to learn in a free and safe environment that provides and encourages equal opportunities. Society can only benefit if the young generation gets a proper education.
There is no need to revamp the entire classroom or curricula practice because there are many ways you can use to make these racial dynamics. One is through discussion in the classroom, which is even a steppingstone when addressing these issues on campus. You can also create some space and talk about race, which can open the way for some powerful learning and change that the student can ever experience. Here are some of the ways that can make race conversations more normal, successful, and constructive. These skills can only be applied when learning is through a collective dialogue with other people or students who are committed to addressing racial equity. When these discussions about race and racism become more normalized, there can be the realization of the equity promise.
When you create a space to talk about the race between you and the students, you may open some powerful ways of learning and change that both you and the students will ever experience. When you include equity and other prominent priorities in the classroom norms, environment, or routine, the students can feel a greater sense of belonging, openness, and safety. It would help if you balanced the learning and participation opportunities. Research shows that teaching empathy can be the critical factor for students’ success and reduced punitive disciplinary actions.
The other way is to root out biases and barriers. Everyone has unconscious racial bias regardless of race. The first thing is to examine your own bias in ways you may be unaware of or privileged. Reflect this bias to the aspect of your teaching practice like curriculum, pedagogy, classroom management, or disciplinary practices of preferring some students while putting others at a disadvantage. Notice any barriers to learning and success that the student may be experiencing. Identify the racial impacts of different practices and policies on the campus. Lastly, you may invite colleagues and students to observe, discuss and give feedback about the routine practices.
According to the students’ answers to the survey questions, racial injustices and inequality are evidenced within the campus premises. We are already collecting data from the students, which has indicated a small aspect of the social problems. Our primary focus is to clear out these factors, which are essential in creating a just society within UAA. One gain from this is the survey skills, completing work as per the schedule, and investigating current and future tasks.
Horsford, S. D. (2016). Social justice for the advantaged: Freedom from racial equality post-Milliken. Teachers college record, 118(3), 1-18.
McNair, T. B., Bensimon, E. M., & Malcom-Piqueux, L. (2020). From equity talk to equity walk: Expanding practitioner knowledge for racial justice in higher education. John Wiley & Sons.
Mr. Oliver, C. A., Camper, A. K., Doyle, J. T., Eggers, M. J., Ford, T. E., Lila, M. A., … & Donatuto, J. (2015). Community-based research as a mechanism to reduce environmental health disparities in American Indian and Alaska Native communities. International journal of environmental research and public health, 12(4), 4076-4100.
Prochazka, J. (2016). Back to Its Roots: How Sec. 1983 Must Return to Its Origins to Provide a Remedy for the Inupiat against Oil Drilling in Alaska’s Arctic Circle. Nw. JL & Soc. Poly, 12, 130
Schulze-Oechtering, M. (2016). The Alaska Cannery Workers Association and the Ebbs and Flows of Struggle: Manong Knowledge, Blues Epistemology, and Racial Cross-Fertilization. Amerasia Journal, 42(2), 23-48.
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