Prejudice - Attitude or judgement about an individual or group based on stereotypes and inadequate knowledge; irrationally and falsely attributing the same characteristics to every member of a group; most often a negative, unfavourable, or inferior opinion about a person of colour.
Source: Carleton University Equity Services (2017). Anti-racism definitions. Retrieved May 5, 2017 from https://carleton.ca/equity/human-rights/racism/anti-racism-definitions/
Racism: belief that race, skin colour or culture makes certain people inferior (e.g. believing that whites are superior to people of colour or people who practice Judaism)
Racial Prejudice: refers to a set of discriminatory or derogatory attitudes based on assumptions deriving from perceptions about race and/or skin colour.
Source: Calgary Anti-Racism Education (2019). Reverse Racism – Myth or Reality? Retrieved January 2019 from http://www.aclrc.com/myth-of-reverse-racism/
Ableism: belief that physical and/or mental ability makes one group superior (e.g. that differently abled people are inferior to typically abled people or seniors are frail and weak)
Ageism: belief that age determines status or ability (e.g. adults are superior to young people and older adults)
Lookism: belief that appearance and looks determine status (e.g. those who are thin or good looking have more money and status in society)
How to Take Safe and Purposeful Action
There are many ways to reduce prejudice and discrimination. A few suggestions are listed below:
- Become aware of your own prejudices.
- Broaden your horizons.
- Don't laugh at racist, sexist or heterosexist jokes.
- Refuse to watch movies, read books, play video games or participate in activities promoting prejudice.
- Challenge friends/peers who express prejudiced beliefs.
- Work with a diverse group of people at school/in your community.
- Support organizations that help address the roots/effects of prejudice.
- Confront prejudice at work by refusing to work in an environment that supports discriminatory policies or practices.
Source: Kids Help Phone (n.d). Embracing differences: What you can do about prejudice. Retrieved May 11, 2017 from https://kidshelpphone.ca/article/embracing-differences-what-you-can-do-about-prejudice-0
The single underlying cause of racial prejudice is lack of knowledge. Support education and information sharing.
Learn strategies and activities for reducing racial prejudice and racism.
Reducing prejudices needs to be more than an organizational goal; it needs to be a personal goal for each of us. The following list contains ways to help reduce prejudices within ourselves and in those around us.