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Questionnaire: Do You Challenge Discrimination?

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 19 Jul 2010 | comments*Discuss
Discrimination Challenge Equality

Most people harbour prejudices of some sort, though many would be shocked to realise this about themselves. When these prejudices become actions discrimination occurs and it often takes many others to challenge it before it ends.

To help you determine if you take a stand against discrimination we have put together the following questionnaire. Answer each question honestly and then total your “yes” and “no” answers. Match the total “yes” answers to the explanations at the end to better determine if you challenge discrimination when you witness it.


1. Do you refuse to laugh at jokes based on stereotypes?
2. Do you respond negatively when others make discriminatory remarks?
3. Are you actively engaged with creating opportunities for your community?
4. Do you participate in conversations about equality?
5. Are you confident in your knowledge of equality legislation?
6. Would you make a complaint if you observed systemic discrimination?
7. Are you careful about the kind of vocabulary you use everyday?
8. Do you lodge complaints when you observe discrimination in print or on tv?
9. Do you help speak for others who are unable to speak for themselves?
10. Would you raise funds for organisations which work for equality?
11. Do you believe there is value in diversity?
12. Do you consider challenging discrimination a hallmark of good citizenship?

Do You Challenge Discrimination?

If you answered “yes” to between zero and four questions then you most likely do not challenge discrimination consistently. It may be that you do not challenge discrimination often, that you do not feel that can challenge discrimination or that you do not recognise discrimination when it occurs around you. It might also be that you are afraid to challenge discrimination for some reason, or that you do not believe there is value in equal opportunities. Whatever the case, it is time you realise that discrimination against anyone hurts everyone. Until every person is guaranteed equality, no one is. Think on this the next time you observe discrimination taking place and ask yourself if you really want to sit back and let it happen. Even telling friends a joke isn’t funny or asking a co-worker not to use a particular slang term makes a difference towards ending discrimination in our society.

If you answered “yes” to between five and eight questions then you may challenge discrimination consistently. It is likely that you recognise many different types of direct and indirect racism, and that you understand how discrimination against one person or group ends up hurting all people. You may not realise, however, that each time you are silent against discrimination you become part of the problem rather than the solution. Think over examples of opportunities in which you could have challenged discrimination but didn’t and brainstorms ways you could react differently in the future. Odds are you’ll get another chance, and by reacting strongly against discrimination you can help pave the way for greater equality in wider society.

If you answered “yes” to nine or more questions then you most likely challenge discrimination consistently. Review your answers and look over those to which you responded “no”. You’ll likely see a pattern of situations in which your reactions against discrimination are strong and situations in which you could stand to react with more strength. Consider becoming more involved with your community to help create opportunities for equality rather than reacting only when a negative event occurs. You know why diversity benefits all of our society, so don’t be afraid to share this knowledge and create opportunities which prove to others the many benefits of diversity and equality.

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