What is race awareness training?
Race Awareness training is designed to help you understand the concept of race and how it relates to society and the workplace. At Mission Diverse, we offer two forms of awareness and action training. Our foundation race awareness training is most suited for employees who have never had any support around discussing or addressing race in the workplace. Our Advanced Race awareness training is centred around creating greater positive action, improving policies, processes and procedures in the workplace to enabling a better workplace and employee culture.
We dive into the history and reality of race and racism to give you and your team a better understanding of how the concept of racism developed, why it persisted, how to prevent it occurring, and how to discuss race confidently going forward. Learn more about the myths and realties of race awareness and anti-racism training. We’ll also break down the differences between ‘institutional, structural and individual racism’, as well as explain how to talk about race within your organisation by creating safe space forums. Lastly you’ll learn what it means to be anti-racist, and through our Advanced Race Awareness Training and Open Live Online Race Awareness Courses you’ll learn how to develop and integrate inclusive workplace strategies for your organisation.
Differences between race, ethnicity, and nationality
Race is a protected characteristic under the 2010 Equality Act, it is legally defined as someone’s skin colour, ethnicity/national origin, and nationality. However “race” itself, ethnicity and nationality have different meanings, interpretations, and levels of understanding in a social context. The social and legal understanding of race and racism is what often causes confusion, distress, and harm to people both inside and outside of the workplace. This is why we provide Race Awareness training to help you understand the differences between race, ethnicity, and nationality.
By developing your own, and your team’s knowledge and understanding around race and racial differences through our Foundation Race Awareness Training, you’ll be able to better engage with colleagues and stakeholders. We also provide monthly live online training courses delivered by Mission Diverse trainers, for people who want to engage in their own personal development around race and culture, view our Open Live Online Race Awareness Courses and other courses available here.
Not being racist and being anti-racist are two different things
No one is born racist, race and racism are social constructs. Racism exists in within individuals, public and private institutions, and persists due to a person or group of people’s inactivity to challenge and confront it.
Not being racist and being anti-racist are two separate choices. If you choose to be anti-racist you are declaring that you yourself will make a concerted effort not to be discriminatory towards anyone based on the racial identity, as well as address those who are being racist or racially insensitive. In comparison, the statement “I’m not being racist”, is a statement often heard, which in most cases is true, but this does not denounce racist or demonstrate a resistance to racism.
We often hear people refer to “Silence Is Violence”, what this means is to say nothing at all suggests you are agreeing with the perpetrator, irrespective of your belief of not being racist. The bigger problem with the statement “I’m not racist” is that it is often used as a reason to excuse past or current racist behaviour of a perpetrator towards a victim. It is also used as language to gaslight a person who has experienced racism. It highlights that using the words “I’m not being racist” holds no weight in comparison to the action of being anti-racist.
By being able to distinguish and understand the pertinence of not being racist and being anti-racist, as well as being confident in challenging racism and discrimination means both you and your organisation are choosing to take an active stance against racism. This is why our Advanced Race Awareness Training and Live Online Open Race Awareness Courses will give your organisation the knowledge you need to develop and implement an anti-racist strategy.
How understanding the history of race will positively change the future.
Throughout history, race has had different definitions that vary between cultures. Race as we know it today is a method of categorisation based on the fact that people can be seen to be physiologically different from others. The definition of race as we understand it has its roots in the European Enlightenment in the late 17th century. The European Enlightenment where written thoughts around philosophy, science and politics which were reorganised around reason and rationality rather than religion. However, the European Enlightenment were philosophes and ideologies were written by you guessed it…All white men, with names you might be familiar with, i.e. Isaac Newton and John Locke. The Enlightenment led to an attempt to scientifically categorise human beings in relation to the natural world. This categorisation of people from a majority race to be thought of as superior (more entitled or deserving) in relation to people from a minority race.
Racism is a by-product of racial categorisation that came about due to the hierarchical organisation of racial groups. The European Enlightenment ideologies that became prominent in the 18th century also coincided with slavery and colonialism. Through this new lens of viewing the world with reason and rationale, views on slavery and justifications for it led to numerous non-scientific theories that tried to explain the inferiority of non-white people, which became accepted societal norms. As such we still see structures of historic racism play out today in the form of systemic racism, whereby people of colour are still paid less, treated less preferably, face immutable social challenges, are valued less over their white counterparts by employers, and unable to progress through the workplace hierarchical structure in comparison to white people.
Both our Race Awareness training and Open Online Race Awareness courses incorporates the use of these historic, yet prevalent examples of Race to draw current parallels and increase race awareness amongst employees, senior leaders and employers both inside and outside of the workplace. This not only increases a person’s ability to understand and empathise. It also enables people and organisations to make impactful decisions for the future to prevent historical wrongs of the past reoccurring.
How race awareness training can help you and your organisation
Our Foundation Race Awareness Training will help you and your team understand the basics around race, ethnicity, nationality and different types of racism that may and could exist in your organisation such as institutional, structural and individual racism, as well as giving you the information you need in order to facilitate discussions around race without fear of being offensive. You’ll also learn tips on how to create a safe space for discussing sensitive topics. We also offer Advanced Race Awareness Training that is suitable for people, teams and organisations which allows you to delve into topics such as improving employees mental health, workplace tokenism and how to avoid it, code switching, microaggressions and identifying ethnocentrism in the workplace.
Race awareness training also has to have positive effects on:
- Employee retention
- Improved mental, physical, and self esteem
- Increase sales
- Improved productivity
- Widen your talent pool during the recruitment and promotion process
- Improved sales
- Enhanced customer and client relationships
- Improved brand awareness
If you’re a HR manager or EDI lead looking at ways to further engage your employees around the topic or race and anti-racism to ensure it’s not just a tick box exercise, view our “Anti-Racism Training: Help for HR & EDI Leads Guide“