Home » Resource Hub

White Dominant Culture & Something Different

In our society, the dominant culture that shapes our institutions, our media, the way we see ourselves and each other is that of the white, middle class. Racial equity trainer Tema Okun suggests that the characteristics of white dominant culture can be harmful not in and of themselves but ‘when they are used as norms and standards without being proactively named or chosen by the group…. These attitudes and behaviors can show up in any group or organization, whether it is white led or predominantly white or people of color led or predominantly people of color.’ In the table below, Okun calls the attitudes and behaviors in the left column aspects of white supremacist culture. The definition of white supremacist culture, or, white dominant culture, that we like to use is simple and expansive: The explicit to subtle ways that the norms, preferences and fears of white European descended people overwhelmingly shape how we organize our work and institutions, see ourselves and others, interact with one another and with time, and make decisions

Resource Details

Author(s): Tema Okun
Organization: ChangeWork
Date: 2/9/23
Resource Type: Guide
Topic: DEI & Anti-Oppression

Related resources (by topic)

The Strategy Center Blog

The Strategy Center’s Blog shares the stories of organizers seeking to end Anti-Black policies and fighting for Black Liberation

What Black scientists want from colleagues and their institutions

Frustrated and exhausted by systemic racism in the science community, Black researchers outline steps for action.

Help us expand the Resource Hub

Share resources that you think would be a good addition to this tool and our team will review them for inclusion in future updates.