Race Forward identifies four levels of racism; this model extends the notion that racism is limited to acts of prejudice or discrimination, based on race, executed by one individual onto another. The institution of racism and the historical impact of racism persist throughout society, from the individual level to the systemic level:
Internalized Racism refers to individual biases and ideas about race induced by our human predisposition to form in-groups and out-groups, and the personal impact of internalized racialized messages about our social groups. When these messages are combined with our natural tendency to follow cognitive scripts, we experience dissonance between our conscious values and unconscious biases.
Interpersonal Racism refers to internalized cultural messages that are shared through personal interactions. These messages are sustained through shared practices that often include some individuals and groups, and exclude others.
Institutional Racism refers to institutions and organizations adopting and/or maintaining policies and procedures that result in inequitable outcomes for people of color. Institutional racism may occur within schools, courts, the military, government organizations, businesses and any number of other organizations. Some of these institutional practices lead to disparities in employment, education, incarceration, healthcare and more.
Structural Racism refers to the way historical, social, psychological, cultural and political norms perpetuate advantages based on race. Examples include racial disparities across wealth, educational attainment, life expectancy, and access to resources.
Learn more about racial justice, levels of racism, and other key racial equity concepts at https://www.raceforward.org/about/what-is-racial-equity-key-concepts.