Diversity, equity & inclusion training in a new key: Adapting a race-class lens for the helping professions

Daniel José Gaztambide, Dashawn Ealey, Bora Meraj

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) industry has grown throughout the public and private sectors, using ideas drawn from critical race theory yet applied in a manner that undercuts social justice goals. Research findings suggest that current approaches to DEI training do not meaningfully improve diversity and prejudice in institutions, and may worsen prejudice leading to racial backlash negatively impacting marginalized groups. The proposed chapter will critique DEI training framing racism primarily as a conflict of "White versus non-White, " which triggers avoidance among people of color and White people that deepens racial inequality. The chapter will review the findings of the Race-Class Narrative Project (Lopez, 2019) as a lens to rethink DEI training. The Race-Class Message, by framing racism as a weapon of class warfare exploited by the wealthy, increases the investment of Whites in Antiracism, paradoxically making them receptive to exploring traditional DEI topics such as White privilege. Preliminary recommendations will be elaborated showing how this approach radically restructures not only DEI training in the helping professions, but their broader curriculum as well.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDeveloping Anti-Racist Practices in the Helping Professions
Subtitle of host publicationInclusive Theory, Pedagogy, and Application
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)9783030954512
ISBN (Print)9783030954505
StatePublished - 2 Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes


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