GREENSBORO, N.C., April 2, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- A free download of "The Groundwater Approach" is now available on the Racial Equity Institute (REI) website for those seeking a better understanding of how systemic racism permeates throughout major and minor institutions. The document explores how American society operates at every level to reinforce racial discrimination and racial disparities across the board – from wealth accumulation and health care outcomes, to educational achievement, criminal justice proceedings and professional career advancement. The Groundwater whitepaper was co-authored by REI managing director Deena Hayes-Greene and Bayard Love. The Racial Equity Institute is an alliance of trainers, organizers and institutional leaders dedicated to creating racially equitable organizations and systems.
Here's an excerpt from the 'Groundwater Approach' whitepaper:
"The fish, the lake and the groundwater: If you have a lake in front of your house and one fish is floating belly-up dead, it makes sense to analyze the fish. What is wrong with it? Imagine the fish is one student failing in the education system. We'd ask: did it study hard enough? Is it getting the support it needs at home? But if you come out to that same lake and half the fish are floating belly-up dead, what should you do? This time you've got to analyze the lake. Imagine the lake is the education system and half the students are failing. This time we'd ask: might the system itself be causing such consistent, unacceptable outcomes for students? If so, how? Now… picture five lakes around your house, and in each and every lake half the fish are floating belly-up dead! What is it time to do? We say it's time to analyze the groundwater."
The Groundwater metaphor is designed to help practitioners at all levels better understand and internalize the reality that society is racially structured; and the foundational structure of racism is what causes racial inequity. The Groundwater metaphor is based on three research observations: 1) Racial inequity looks the same across systems; 2) Socio-economic difference does not explain racial inequity; and 3) Inequities are caused by systems, regardless of people's culture or behavior. Hayes-Greene said: "The Groundwater Approach seeks to explain complex societal issues and present solutions on how to create racial equity within institutions and systems that impact individuals and families." Love said, "A mentor once told me that 'diagnosis determines treatment,' which metaphorically will help leaders accurately diagnose the cause of racial inequity. At REI, we believe that cause is structural racism."
Based in Greensboro, North Carolina, the Racial Equity Institute provides training sessions, presentations, workshops and seminars to individuals and organizations who desire to create racial equity within their companies and communities. To learn more, or to access the free whitepaper, visit: www.groundwaterapproach.net.
SOURCE Racial Equity Institute