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TERMS & DEFINITIONS: THE POWER OF WORDS

Activist: a person who campaigns to bring about political or social change.

Advocate: a person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy.

Ally: Someone who makes the commitment and effort to recognize their privilege (based on gender, class, race, sexual identity, etc.) and work in solidarity with oppressed groups in the struggle for justice. Allies commit to reducing their own complicity or collusion in oppression of those groups and invest in strengthening their own knowledge and awareness of oppression.

Anti-Blackness: The Council for Democratizing Education defines anti-Blackness as being a two-part formation that both voids Blackness of value, while systematically marginalizing Black people and their issues. The first form of anti-Blackness is overt racism. Beneath this anti-Black racism is the covert structural and systemic racism which categorically predetermines the socioeconomic status of Blacks in this country. The structure is held in place by anti-Black policies, institutions, and ideologies.

The second form of anti-Blackness is the unethical disregard for anti-Black institutions and policies. This disregard is the product of class, race, and/or gender privilege certain individuals experience due to anti-Black institutions and policies. This form of anti-Blackness is protected by the first form of overt racism.

Anti-Racism: Anti-Racism is defined as the work of actively opposing racism by advocating for changes in political, economic and social life. Anti-racism tends to be an individualized approach, in opposition to individual racist behaviors and impacts.

Anti-Racist: An anti-racist is someone who is supporting an anti-racist policy through their actions or expressing anti-racist ideas. This includes the expression or ideas that racial groups are equals

Black Lives Matter Movement: A political movement to address systemic and state violence against African Americans. Per the Black Lives Matter organizers: “In 2013, three radical Black organizers -- Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi -- created a Black-centered political will and movement building project called #BlackLivesMatter. It was in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer, George Zimmerman. The project is now a member-led global network of more than 40 chapters. [Black Lives Matter] members organize locally to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. Black Lives Matter is an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise. It is an affirmation of Black humanity, our contributions to this society, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression.”

Bias: A preference for or against.

Cultural Appropriation: Theft of cultural elements for one’s own use, commodification, or profit -- including symbols, art, language, customs, etc. -- often without understanding, acknowledgement, or respect for its value in the original culture. Results from the assumption of a dominant (i.e. white) culture’s right to take other cultural elements.

Culture: A social system of meaning and custom that is developed by a group of people to assure its adaptation and survival. These groups are distinguished by a set of unspoken rules that shape values, beliefs, habits, patterns of thinking, behaviors and styles of communication.

Diaspora: Diaspora is "the voluntary or forcible movement of peoples from their homelands into new regions...a common element in all forms of diaspora; these are people who live outside their natal (or imagined natal) territories and recognize that their traditional homelands are reflected deeply in the languages they speak, religions they adopt, and the cultures they produce."

Discrimination: The unequal treatment of members of various groups based on race, gender, gender identity, social class, sexual orientation, physical ability, religion and other categories.

Diversity: Variety of abilities, skills, experiences and cultural backgrounds, in all stakeholders.

Equality: To ensure that everyone gets the same and equal treatment; the identical apportionment to all.

Equity: Policies and practices that promote and ensure fair experiences, opportunities and outcomes for all.

HBCUs: Acronym for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Institutions of higher learning in the U.S. founded intentionally to educate Blacks, prior to the Civil Rights Acts in the 1960s desegregating the education system.

Inclusion: To value and leverage differences to achieve superior results.

Intersectionality: Exposing [one’s] multiple identities can help clarify the ways in which a person can simultaneously experience privilege and oppression. For example, a Black woman in America does not experience gender inequalities in exactly the same way as a white woman, nor racial oppression identical to that experienced by a Black man. Each race and gender intersection produces a qualitatively distinct life.

Microaggression: The everyday verbal, nonverbal and environmental slights, snubs or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.

People of Color: Often the preferred collective term for referring to non-white racial groups. While “people of color” can be a politically useful term, and describes people with their own attributes (as opposed to what they are not, e.g., “non-White”), it is also important whenever possible to identify people through their own racial/ethnic group, as each has its own distinct experience and meaning and may be more appropriate.

Privilege: The absence of barriers and the presence of unearned positive advantages

Racism:

Racism = race prejudice + social and institutional power

Racism = a system of advantage based on race

Racism = a system of oppression based on race

Racism is different from racial prejudice, hatred or discrimination. Racism involves one group having the power to carry out systematic discrimination through the institutional policies and practices of the society and by shaping the cultural beliefs and values that support those racist policies and practices.

Racial Equity: Policies, practices and ways of interacting that promote fairness across racial backgrounds.

Racial Inequity: Racial inequity is when two or more racial groups are not standing on approximately equal footing. such as the percentages of each ethnic group in terms of dropout rates, single family home ownership, access to healthcare, etc.

Racial Justice: Racial justice is defined as the proactive reinforcement of policies, practices, attitudes and actions that produce equitable power, access, opportunities, treatment, impacts and outcomes for all.

Systemic Racism: A form of racism expressed in the practice of social and political institutions. It is reflected in disparities regarding wealth, income, criminal justice, employment, housing, healthcare, political power and education, among other factors.

Whiteness: Specific dimensions of racism that serve to elevate white people over people of color.

White Fragility: White fragility is “a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable [for white people], triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium.”

White Privilege: Refers to the unquestioned and unearned set of advantages, entitlements, benefits and choices bestowed on people solely because they are white. Generally white people who experience such privilege do so without being conscious of it.

White Supremacy: The idea (ideology) that white people and the ideas, thoughts, beliefs and actions of white people are superior to People of Color and their ideas, thoughts, beliefs and actions.

Unconscious Bias: Bias or associations that people unknowingly or unconsciously hold.

Sources:

The Kaleidoscope Group, 2020, RacialEquityTools.org, 2020, Intergroup Resources, 2012, Dismantling Racism Works workbook , Ibram X Kendi, How to be an Antiracist, Random House, 2019, Race Forward, Catalytic Change: Lessons Learned from the Racial Justice Grantmaking Assessment Report, Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity and Applied Research Center, 2009., Black Lives Matter,The Movement for Black Lives, OpenSource Leadership Strategies, “The Dynamic System of Power, Privilege and Oppressions.” Center for Assessment and Policy Development. White Fragility, Robin Diangelo, merriam- webster dictionary

UNDERSTANDING RACISM & SOCIAL JUSTICE

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WATCH

13th (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix

American Son (Kenny Leon) — Netflix

Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton) — Available to rent for free in June in the U.S.

King In The Wilderness (Peter Kunhardt) — HBO

See You Yesterday (Stefon Bristol) — Netflix

Selma (Ava DuVernay) — Available to rent for free in June in the U.S.

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (Stanley Nelson, Jr.) — Available to rent

The Hate U Give (George Tillman Jr.) — Available to rent for free

When They See Us (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix

Hidden Figures (Theodore Melfi) — Available to rent

DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION IN THE WORKPLACE

ALLYSHIP & ADVOCACY

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SUPPORTING YOUR BLACK COLLEAGUES
  • Ask your colleagues how they would like to be supported.
  • Don’t ask your Black colleagues to explain complex racial issues to you.
  • Listen and acknowledge their feelings.
  • Hold your peers and managers accountable and report any instances of racism, however big or small they may seem to you.
  • Mentor: Identify talent within teams and support them with the knowledge and opportunity to succeed.
  • Speak out, because silence is not allyship.
  • Empower and support Employee/Business Resource Groups.
  • Donate to causes that further education and take action to end racism.
  • Read -- seek out books to educate yourself about the history of systemic racism across the world.
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OTHER RESOURCES

Business Resource Groups

Business Resource Groups are company sanctioned, employee-led affinity groups built around a specific dimension of diversity or characteristics designed to leverage diversity to enhance business objectives and goals.

Major League Baseball’s Business Resource Groups (BRGs) are open to all employees who support the group's mission - regardless of their race, gender, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, ancestry, gender identity, military veteran status, or sexual orientation. All MLB employees are encouraged to join and become allies for all Business Resource Groups.

CONVERSATION GUIDE

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HAVING CONVERSATIONS ABOUT RACE

In department/team meetings, staff calls, at the water cooler … the most “human” start to this conversation is always: “How are you?” “How is this impacting you?”

  • Lead with empathy.
  • Listen and acknowledge responses and feelings.
  • Don’t attempt to walk in their shoes or “relate” to the issue but allow people to share.
  • Always defer to commonalities of the shared human experience (emotions, family, safety), rather than try to understand or define racial nuances. For example: “I can’t possibly understand what you are feeling, but the loss of a father, brother, spouse, son, would be traumatic for anyone.”
  • Understand there may be varying perspectives, bias and opinions and everyone may not be comfortable sharing.
  • Reinforce the company’s policy on discrimination and harassment.

Guidelines for having conversations about race:

  • Have the conversation rather than avoiding it.
  • Listen actively; hear fully before responding.
  • Solicit input; ask what they think, “What did you think about that?”
  • Honor “frames of reference” -- different perspectives and viewpoints.
  • Seek to understand what others are thinking; before sharing your thoughts. People are more willing to hear from you when you hear them, first.
  • Share your views as just that your views that may not be shared by others. Honor that.
  • Respond with care, acceptance and compassion. You don’t have to agree; however, you do need to acknowledge and appreciate the person; no matter what.
  • Nobody’s perfect -- you will not be perfect in what you say; and they will not be perfect in what they share. There is no right. Do the best you can.
  • Everything does not need to be said -- it’s enough to create space for the conversation.
  • Avoid teaching, preaching and the temptation to ‘correct’ others -- no one has the answers.
  • Let go of agendas and expectations.
  • Appreciate others’ viewpoints; say “thank you."
  • Do your personal work. Get support to unpack your feelings and concerns at another time, so that you can better hear and support others.
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TALKING TO CHILDREN

1. Correct with care. Listen first, and gently correct facts; not thoughts or feelings. Provide developmentally appropriate information and offer other ways to look at things. For example:

Question. Why do people protest and get violent?

Response. Sometimes people express their feelings in negative ways. We all get angry at times, but we can choose to express our feelings in ways that help us understand each other better. And maybe solve some problems.

2. Use language children can identify with. Most children have heard about and understand the concept of bullying. They understand what it is, and maybe what it feels like to be mistreated. When discussing these concepts, focus on the behavior, its negative impact, and the desired behavior.

An example might be:

Behavior and Negative Impact: What if a friend was making fun of someone else? How do you think that person would feel?

You might choose to do one of three things:

  • Join in and make fun of them too. Sound like a good idea? No.
  • Do nothing; or say nothing -- even though you’re feeling uncomfortable. What do you think? Not the best answer.
  • (Desired Behavior) Say something in a way that respects your friend while letting them know you don’t agree with their behavior and that they should stop. We can talk with each other in a way that helps everyone.

3. Honor their ‘fill line.’ Adults can get caught up explaining and taking advantage of a teachable moment. Suddenly the child gets distracted; stares off; changes the subject or gets up and walks away. Like adults kids have a “fill line” -- a place they reach when they can’t take in any more information. Honor when they have heard enough. When they thirst for more, they will ask.

4. Be a role model by listening and responding positively to diversity and differences in a supportive and empathetic way. This can teach children positive attitudes and effective strategies.

5. Expand their perspectives of diversity and differences, all year round. Have conversations that help them view multicultural topics with an open mind–you might say, “This is a holiday that (___ ) families celebrate; that our family does not celebrate. I think it’s really fun to learn about other traditions!”

6. Celebrate similarities and differences. Ask them to think about friends and others they know, who are similar and different. Point out how our differences make each of us unique and special.

7. Talk about how important it is that all people feel good about themselves. Emphasize how scary it can be to feel like you are different from other people, and how brave it is to share things that are unique about yourself or your family.

8. Teach kids words they can say to make each other feel valued as they learn about and embrace differences: “That’s cool! I never knew that before!” “I like the way you do that.” “Can you tell me more about that?”

9. Have open conversations about stereotypes and biases. For example, as you say how great it is that there are many similarities and differences in our society -- point out that sometimes people treat other people badly or differently because of their looks, the color of their skin, their cultural beliefs, or their gender. Share that this is unfair and is not how people should treat one another.

Additional Resources: These additional resources are being offered, not endorsed. Just as you monitor what children watch, what they listen to, and their use of the internet and social media activity; it’s critical to examine and choose resources you feel comfortable with. Choose the ones that are right for you and your family.

MLB EFFORTS

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ACTION

This is not a moment, this is a movement. Major League Baseball is working on sustainable change. While there is specificity to the Black community across many of the strategies outlined below, there is, in many cases, alignment to already existing programs and initiatives that apply to those inclusive of and beyond the Black community. We will continue to update this section to provide real-time action steps being taken across our sport.

Supporting Economic Development

Fostering Community Connection

  • Amplifying Voices
  • League-Wide Pro Bono Program (to support Diverse Business Partners)
  • Long-Term Charitable Investments

Enhancing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

  • Diversity Pipeline Program
  • Talent Development
  • Inclusive and Anti-Racism HR policies
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YOUTH BASEBALL & SOFTBALL

Throughout each year, Major League Baseball operates a wide range of Baseball & Softball Development initiatives to improve access to the game among diverse & under-served communities and foster advanced development within the youth and amateur levels of the sport.

Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities

MLB Youth Academies

Breakthrough Series

Hank Aaron Invitational

Dream Series

Elite Development Invitational

Play Ball

Jackie Robinson Training Complex


MLB does not own the rights to this content.