At the institutional level, racism takes the form of dominant cultures and norms that perpetuate white supremacist ways of operating. These norms often reflect an emphasis on individualism, the belief that it’s up to each person to thrive—or fail. To gain power in institutions, we balance the need to assimilate to survive and the desire to disrupt the system we are working to navigate.
Weaponized culture can look like:
Oppressive cultural norms and unspoken expectations enforcing assimilation
Power-hoarding strengthening the status quo
The system reinforcing its idea that it is the responsibility of the individual to make it, not for the system to change
“Impact investment funds focus on Black and Brown founders, but with investments that reflect the same extractive venture capital structures that folks have historically been left out of.” – Design team member