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Racial Justice Resources for Activists, Advocates & Allies

This guide serves as a resource for the UC community to learn about activism and allyship as it pertains to racial justice and anti-racism.

Racial Gaslighting

  • Racelighting is an act of psychological manipulation where Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) receive racial messages that distort their realities and lead them to second-guess themselves. (

  • Racial gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation that makes people of color question their own experiences of racism. (Metro)

  • Racial gaslighting (v) The political, social, economic and cultural process that perpetuates and normalizes a white supremacist reality through pathologizing those who resist. Racial spectacle (n) Narratives that obfuscate the existence of a white supremacist state power structure. (Davis & Ernst)
  • Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation that hinges on creating self-doubt. “I think of gaslighting as trying to associate someone with the label ‘crazy,’” says Paige Sweet, Ph.D., an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Michigan who studies gaslighting in relationships and in the workplace. “It’s making someone seem or feel unstable, irrational and not credible, making them feel like what they’re seeing or experiencing isn’t real, that they’re making it up, that no one else will believe them.” 
  • Racial gaslighting also frequently happens in the workplace, particularly in a workplace that is predominantly white. “For women of color, [gaslighting] takes the form of colleagues doubting or outright denying their negative experiences,” write researchers Michelle A. Rodrigues, Ruby Mendenhall and Kathryn B. H. Clancy in a research paper on gaslighting of women of color who work as scientists. This type of gaslighting is also present in diversity initiatives that come off as hollow and not addressing real issues. Initiatives that “center   white colleagues’ desire to present a rosy picture of inclusion… serve to gaslight marginalized students and faculty, as they are perpetually told the environment is welcoming and inclusive while their own lived experiences are ignored and denied,” the researchers find. (Forbes)

Racial gaslighting web resources

Racial gaslighting videos

7 Methods of Killing Racial Gaslighting: This series is led by Ayebatonye Abrakasa and Yvonne Sewankambo.

The roles of gaslighting and narcissism in racism | Dr. Ramani

What is Racial Gaslighting?

Racial gaslighting is used to make people of color feel invalidated. Host Manu Avilés-Santiago sits down with Faith Brooks, writer, speaker, and co-host of Melanated Faith podcast, on what racial gaslighting really means and how you should respond.

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