Seminar 4 Outline – Dec. 15, 2020

Community Peace and Justice Network – December 15, 2020
Race Together: Learnings about and Race and Racism in AmericaSeminar Leader: Arturo Pierre Lewis

Reducing Prejudice: How Achievable? How Important?

Chapter Objectives—after reading Chapter Three you should be able to:

  • Describe the various ways to reduce prejudice and how effective each is in this process
  • Explain the linkage between prejudice and discrimination
  • Discuss the importance of prejudice in understanding individual’s views of minority group members and racial inequality
  • Explain the connections between prejudice and discrimination
  • Discuss the effect prejudice has on one’s ideas about minority group members and about racial inequality in general
  • Define the term symbolic racism and explain how this has become modern racism

Persuasive Communication

Any communication-written, oral, audiovisual, or otherwise-that is specifically intended to influence attitudes, beliefs, or behavior.

Intergroup Marriage/Partnerships

Marriage and partnerships comprised of persons from different groups.

Intergroup/Inclusive Education

Any effort, by whatever means, to bring about factual learning about intergroup relations.


People who understand themselves to be less prejudiced than others.

Socialization Institutions:

Peer Groups-

Symbolic or Modern Racism


A relatively subtle, contemporary form of racism that, while rejecting stereotypes and blatant discrimination, nonetheless involves opposition to any social policy that would enable minorities to escape their disadvantaged position in American society.

Discussion Questions 

  1. When using persuasive communication, why is it so important to have a person or source who is attractive, credible, powerful or prestigious for it to be effective?
  2. Are college courses on diversity effective in reducing prejudice? Explain those elements or how the course can actually add to or subtract from that effectiveness. 
  3. Why is it so important to have equal status among group members for intergroup contact to be effective?
  4. How does cognitive dissonance theory explain the lower prejudice levels in the south today as compared to the rest of the country? 
  5. Define symbolic racism and explain how those who express this view are likely to respond to the election of the first African American to the presidency? 

Web Links This is the PBS website for the film, A Class Divided. There is a teacher’s guide and information about the making of the film and its impact.  This is the website for the magazine which is offered free to K-12 teachers to promote ending racism in the United States. Website for the Anti-Defamation League which is a site that promotes education about ending prejudice against those Jewish and other groups in society. There are resources for education and advocacy here. Website for the American Civil Liberties Union. This site has information about current political issues and discrimination.  Website for Visions, Inc which is a nonprofit company that provides training and consultation with businesses on multiculturalism in the business world. 

Key Words and terms
Cognitive dissonance theory       Modern racism              Symbolic racism
Contact hypothesis            Persuasive communication    Intergroup education
Social distance

Suggested Readings
Irving, Debby, Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race.
Cambridge: Elephant Room Press, 2014

Kendi, Ibram X., How to be an Antiracist.
New York: One World, 2019