Oppression

Oppression

Oppression is the systemic use of power and authority to discriminate against and marginalize a particular group of people, often on the basis of their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other characteristics.

Oppression can take many forms, including but not limited to:

  • Physical violence or coercion
  • Psychological abuse or manipulation
  • Economic exploitation or discrimination
  • Political disenfranchisement or suppression
  • Cultural imperialism or assimilation

Oppression can be exercised by individuals, groups, or institutions, and it can be intentional or unintentional. It can also be internalized, meaning that members of the oppressed group may internalize negative messages and beliefs about themselves and their worth, leading to self-hatred and self-doubt.

Oppression often involves a power imbalance, with those in positions of power and privilege using their influence to maintain control over marginalized groups.

Take Action

How you can combat oppression and work towards creating a more just and equitable society.

Learn more about the issues that affect marginalized communities. Read books, articles, and other materials about social justice, attend workshops or seminars, and engage in discussions with people who have different experiences and perspectives. By expanding your knowledge and understanding of these issues, you can better understand how you can contribute to creating positive change.

When you witness or hear about instances of oppression, it’s important to speak out and take a stand against it. This can involve publicly condemning the actions of those who are perpetuating oppression, or it can involve having difficult conversations with friends, family, or colleagues about the harm caused by oppressive behavior.

Support organizations that are working to address social justice issues, volunteer your time and resources to support marginalized communities, and advocate for policies and legislation that promote equity and inclusion.

Learn More

The Fight to End the Death Penalty and Save Leonard Taylor

“I feel real positive and real prayerful that I will get a stay of execution,” said Leonard “Raheem” Taylor, a Black Missouri man scheduled to be killed next week for a crime he is emphatic that he did not commit. On December 3, 2004, Taylor’s girlfriend, Angela Rowe, and her three children were found shot to death […]

The Lasting Impact of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

The signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the U.S. invasion of Mexico, but the effects continue to impact Latine communities today.

How Equity Can Build Better Organizations

We know that the responsibility of advancing DEI doesn’t just lie with individuals who hold positional power—it requires all of us.

Related Words and Phrases

Internalized Oppression

White Savior Complex

Join the newsletter crew.

Learn a new term each day in our free daily newsletter.