The Anti-Racism Training Institute of the Southwest grew out of the work of Albuquerque Project Change, a multiracial, multicultural organization founded to address institutional racism in Albuquerque and three other cities across the nation. Institutional racism, as opposed to individual bigotry or prejudice, is systemic and describes the intentional or unconscious subordination of specific racial groups through organizational practices and norms.
Over a 10-year period of educating and organizing,it became clear to Albuquerque Project Change that a major barrier to undoing racism is the lack of a shared analysis about what racism is. It found that even some of the most well-meaning people can't agree about the basic definition of racism and, therefore, cannot forge alliances to uproot it. The Institute addresses four issues—healthcare, education, the legal system, and community and economic development. It targets institutions with an impact on these issues, because these are the issues that most profoundly affect the well-being of all New Mexicans. It examines institutional policies and practices under a microscope to uncover how each of them perpetuates racial inequality and what action is required for change.
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