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Structural Racism

Structural Racism Special Interest Group

Contact this SIG at


The purpose of the Structural Racism SIG in the System Dynamics Society is to develop a space where members can share resources and work on applying System Dynamics to structural racism.

Recent Historical Context:

Recent events (2020) such as the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Elijah Mcclain along with the exacerbated disparities in death rates within communities of color observed during COVID 19 have brought renewed global attention to the problem of structural racism in society. This has led to calls for “systems change” including calls for police abolition, declaring structural racism a public health crisis, and institutional reforms in higher education, government, and many other organizations to create a more inclusive and equitable society. System dynamics has long held the potential to
contribute in substantial ways for understanding the interconnected systems underlying structural violence and uncovering leverage points that avoid unintended consequences that further exacerbate the marginalization of communities of color. Two fifty-minute roundtable sessions were held on July 23, 2020 as part of the International Conference of the System Dynamics Society. A total of approximately 50 people participated with a few participating in both sessions. The idea of creating a SIG was proposed in these round tables in order to advance work using SD to address issues of structural racism and build a community of practice engaging in this work.


The main activities of the SIG will center around regular meetings that convene individuals working in or interested in working in the SD and structural racism space to discuss topics ranging from theory, process, and practice in this area. While we anticipate the specific activities that the SIG will engage in to evolve over time, we will initially use the space to present works in progress, discuss relevant literature, and foster collaborations for individuals across sectors using SD to address a wide array of Structural Racism problems.


Irene Headen
Kelsey Werner
Peter Hovmand
Braveheart Gillani