Developing Racial Pattern Recognition Skills to Undo Racism

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This session will introduce the concept of “racial pattern recognition” as a frame to help learners detect systemic issues related to racism and oppression. Join us as we continue to discuss effective strategies to teach justice and equity issues without shame and blame.

Humans are born with basic pattern recognition skills which allow us to make meaning and navigate the world around us whether learning to speak, read and write, or identifying songs we like to navigating our phone controls by touch and feel. Pattern detection is essential to our very survival as a species. As social justice activists and educators, we have developed a keen awareness to repeated cycles of racial inequity, whether it is the school-to-prison pipeline in education, over-policing in criminal justice or undertreatment in health care. And we are bewildered and often enraged when others do not, or cannot, recognize these systemic patterns that appear so obvious.

But what is obvious to some can be learned by all.

This session will introduce the concept of “racial pattern recognition” as a frame to help learners detect systemic issues related to racism and oppression. We will also explore why the “prejudice habit” is hard to break and why the principle of “slow-is-fast” from trauma therapy is critical to individual as well as policy change. Join us as we continue to discuss effective strategies to teach justice and equity issues without shame and blame.