Anti-racist Change: A Conceptual Framework for Educational Institutions to Take Systemic Action

Speakers: Devean R. Owens, Anjalé Welton, and Dr. Eboni Zamani-Gallaher

To accomplish racial equity in education individuals’ mindsets need to be shifted to an anti-racist ideology and the institutions also need to make profound anti-racist changes. We merge key concepts from anti-racism and organizational change literature to present a conceptual framework to facilitate broad level systemic anti-racist change. This paper connects organizational change to research on anti-racism to formulate a new conceptual framework for anti-racist change in education. The goal is to provide higher education leaders with a framework that is a useful tool in which to actively dismantle systems of racial oppression and power in their institutions.

Although problem identification and understanding the root causes of racism in its many forms is important, the papers in this symposium identify institutional structures, processes, and practices that are critical in working towards racial equity in higher education, with each paper offering foundational perspectives for doing so. In addition, racial inequities if not revealed and resolved can potentially derail a student’s educational trajectory and even the career opportunities of those who have dedicated their lives to educating and fighting to achieve racial justice for others. As such, each paper in this symposium discusses the following question: How can we as educational leaders move beyond just problem identification towards taking real action to address systemic racism in higher education institutions?