Science, Society, and Dismantling Racism.
As a foundational pillar of the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation framework, Narrative Change involves reckoning with our historical and current realities regarding "race" and racism, uprooting dominant narratives that normalize injustice and sustain oppression, and advancing narratives that promote equity and collective liberation. Narrative Change is vital to creating communal recognition and appreciation of the interconnectedness and equality of all humans and dismantling the ideology and structures of racial hierarchy. Telling new or more truthful and complete stories must include improving our understanding and messaging about what race is and what it is not as well as the relationship between race and racism. Ideas about the existence of biological human races have long been discredited by scientists and scholars in various fields. Yet, false beliefs about natural and fixed biological differences within the human species persist in some scientific studies, in aspects of health care, and in the political and legal architectures of the United States and other countries, thereby reproducing and maintaining social hierarchies. Efforts to eradicate racism and its pernicious effects are limited in their potential for sustained positive transformation unless simultaneous endeavors are undertaken to reframe people's thinking about the very concept of race. This brief provides an overview of the origins of racial hierarchy, distinguishes between biological concepts of race and socially defined race, reviews perspectives on the meanings and uses of race, and describes ongoing and potential efforts to address prevailing misunderstandings about race and racism.