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The Groundwater Approach: Building a practical understanding of structural racism

November 9, 2020 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

groundwater approach understanding racial equity 6 images include classroom with people of color

UNC faculty and staff are encouraged to participate in The Groundwater Approach: Building a practical understanding of structural racism, an informational webinar presentation on the nature and impact of structural racism. This event is hosted by Lineberger.

Led by the Racial Equity Institute in Greensboro, North Carolina, the webinar will be held Monday, Nov. 9, from 1 – 4 p.m. Registration is free and is limited to 200 participants.

The Racial Equity Institute defines structural racism as a system in which public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations and other norms work in various, often reinforcing ways to perpetuate inequities among racial and ethnic groups.

The groundwater metaphor is designed to help participants internalize the reality that racial inequities come from the racially structured society in which we all live. All of our systems, institutions and outcomes emanate from the racial hierarchy on which the United States was built.

The metaphor is based on three observations:

  1. Racial inequities look the same across systems.
  2. Socioeconomic differences do not explain racial inequities.
  3. Inequities are caused by systems regardless of people’s culture or behavior.

Participants will gain a better understanding of the following:

  • Structural racism as a feature of social, economic and political systems.
  • Impact of structural racism on our nation’s people, economy and social institutions.
  • Structural racism is a “groundwater” problem and we need “groundwater” solutions.

Attendees across the country are finding the groundwater metaphor to be useful in re-framing and re-focusing their work, leading to new partnerships and exciting new openings for action.

This webinar has a value of $200. Offered free to members of Lineberger. Limit 200 attendees. Others can request more information from Chelsey at

Registration link for The Groundwater Approach: Building a practical understanding of structural racism.