1. Theoretical presentation: The racism spectrum

Before we try to understand, address, analyse, or prevent invisible racism, it is crucial to first understand what racism is. Further, it is as much crucial to not approach racism in isolation from other forms of discrimination, rather integrate an intersectional perspective that stresses enough how racism often overlaps with gender and sexual-based discrimination.


Herein, we see racism is a set of various forms of racism where each form is a fruit of racial prejudices and discriminatory behaviours with a lifecycle of their own. Each element in sentence plays a valuable role in this definition:

  •   Each form of racism is a fruit of racial prejudices with their own lifecycle: to be racially prejudiced means to have or hold a discriminatory, negative stereotypes, or unfavourable attitude or belief towards a person in a minority group primarily on the basis of ethnicity or race, which results in that person being discriminated against.
  •   Each form of racism is a fruit of discriminatory behaviours with their own lifecycle: to be discriminated against means to be denied the opportunities, rights, or freedoms that other person(s) or group(s) in society enjoy(s), primarily on the basis of belonging to a racial, gender, social, class, or sexual minority group.


When racial prejudices and discriminatory behaviours intersects and are supported by individuals, institutions, policies, and laws, racism is present. That is, racially prejudiced + discriminated against = racism, which often overlaps with the racialised person’s gender expression, class, sexual identity, ability, or religion.


This experience of being exposed to racial prejudices and racial discrimination has been characterised as a normative stressor in the lives of people who belong to a minority group and can thus take a toll on adolescents and young adults, negatively affecting their future well-being and their sense of belonging. That is, during adolescence and young adulthood, many minority youths start to make meaning of their ethnic, racial, gender and/or sexual group membership as a core component of their identity and may become increasingly aware of the negative societal views of and discriminatory behaviours toward their group, which heighten sensitivity to perceived bias and discrimination. So, racism is a matter of different forms categorised as dimensions:

  1. Internalised Racism: Within individuals;
  2. Interpersonal Racism: Between individuals;
  3. Institutional Racism: Within institutions;
  4. Structural Racism: Among institutions and across society.

2. Session materials

Below you can download an activity to implement with your group of young people