Understanding Current Dynamics of Race and Power
Collecting information about current dynamics of race and power is an important part of this work. The process of collecting and sharing information can be a useful organizing activity. The information that is learned about current racial disproportionality in key institutional areas (educational attainment, home ownership, income, health care access, etc.) can be used as a wake-up call. Doing a power analysis - that looks at how money, influence, decision making and relationships affect current outcomes for various groups - can guide your work and point out possible areas of resistance. In addition, understanding current racial and power dynamics includes knowing the organizations and individuals currently working on racial equity, what each contributes and how they might influence this work.
Questions that are important to answer are:
- What are the "coded" or unspoken words or ideas that we need to understand to move our work forward?
- How is power distributed in this community or organization?
- What are the governance structures (formal and informal) and how do they relate to power and change?
- What are the current relationships among and within racial/ethnic groups?
- What are the formal and informal processes that influence decisions? Who is involved? How do various racial/ethnic constituencies influence decisions?
- When groups or individuals buck the status quo, what are the different responses?