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Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Jane Berry


In order to combat systemic racism, people need to understand the differences between active racism and passive racism and how it relates to the perceptions of and actions following the occurrence of racial microaggressions. Active racism is defined as blatant, intentional acts of racial bigotry and discrimination (Tatum, 2017). Meanwhile, passive racism is defined as racial discrimination that is more subtle or covert such as overlooking or denying the existence of racism or a racist act (Roberts & Rizzo, 2020; Coates, 2011). For instance, a person knowing that a Black person was not hired for a job due to their race but decided not say or do anything to correct this injustice is a form of passive racism. Both active and passive racism maintain the heavily ingrained racism that exists in every system in society that disproportionately and continuously harms disadvantaged groups (Trepagnier, 2016).