The Racial Equity Institute's Groundwater Approach: Building a practical understanding of structural racism

Feb 22, 2020

02:00 PM - 05:00 PM

Iowa Memorial Union (IMU), 335 Divine Nine Room

125 North Madison Street, Iowa City, IA 52245

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Racial Equity Institute Workshop

This workshop is designed to help participants understand that we live in a racially structured society and that that this is what leads to racial inequity. The "groundwater" metaphor is based on three observations: racial inequity looks the same across systems, socioeconomic difference does not explain the racial inequity; and inequities are caused by systems, regardless of people’s culture or behavior. Embracing these truths allows us to confront the reality that systems, institutions, and outcomes emanate from the racial hierarchy on which the United States was built. In other words, we have a “groundwater” problem, and we need “groundwater” solutions.

Sponsored by Iowa City Darwin Day, the Office of the Vice President for Research, the Public Policy Center, the Center for Teaching, the College of Law, the Obermann Center, the Delta Center, the Iowa Institute of Human Genetics, the Genetics Cluster Initiative, the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Genetics, the College of Public Health Center, Integrated DNA Technologies, Green State Credit Union, Hills Bank, and the Departments of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Teaching and Learning, Geographical and Sustainability Sciences, and Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact in advance at