Know Systemic Racism

Documenting Discrimination • Identifiying Interconnections • Highlighting Helpers

Mission of Know Systemic Racism

The goal of KSR is to gather and share data that show how the interconnected systems of racism work against the Black community in the State of California.

What is "systemic racism"?

Systemic racism stems from institutional policies, procedures, practices, regulations and processes that normalize (physical, economic, social) harm and result in outcomes that disadvantage racialized groups and people who have had a stigmatized racial identity imposed on them. Systemic racism creates disparities in many "success indicators" such as wealth, policing, the criminal justice system, banking, employment, housing, health care, media, military, politics, science, voting rights, education and the environment.

If you're just getting started in learning about systemic racism, here are three things you can do to get started:

  • Watch a video on the importance of words in the fight for racial equality.

  • Go to the Learn page and get an overview with the timelines showing examples of systemic racism over the years.

  • Dive deeper into the resources presented in our library guide.

"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced."
- James Baldwin

How can data help us put an end to systemic racism?

Wielded correctly, data can be a powerful tool for racial justice and social equity. KSR includes evidence-based studies and reporting relating to the role of racism and race-based discrimination, in California's public and private institutions. Armed with data, people can petition regulatory governing agencies to reform policies with documented discrimination and biases built into the interconnected systems of housing, policing, legislation, banking, education, medical care, employment, the environment, nutrition and voting.

A brief history of the KSR project

The KNOW Systemic Racism project is a follow up to a statement of solidarity and support against systemic racism published by Stanford Libraries over the summer of 2020. "Making this statement reaffirming our commitment to racial justice, equity and diversity were extremely important to us. We feel compelled for the Stanford Libraries to engage directly with recent events," said Michael Keller, Vice Provost and University Librarian.

The Know Systemic Racism project was launched simultaneously with the Say Their Names – No More Names Exhibit.