In the hopes of keeping my thinking and communications clear, I copied these definitions into my email so I could revisit them from time to time (I'd link to the exact page, but now I can't find it). Take a few minutes and read over them, it might help you see your world differently this week, too.
Institutionalized racism: a form of racism and institutionalized discrimination that takes place in institutions of societal power and influence. These policies and practices are generally set in place and remain unwavering because:
they have been in place for decades/centuries, despite the evolution of civil rights
they are advantageous to the people who are part of this institution, whether they know it or not
The difference between individual bigotry and institutional racism lies in the set policies and practices of an organization that actively or unintentionally discriminate against an ethnic group and subsequently disadvantage that particular group or race. We want to make the distinction between individual 'racism' (eg: bigotry) and institutionalized discrimination, which is a pervasive societal system.
Discrimination: A distinction based on the personal characteristics of an individual resulting in some disadvantage to that individual.
Prejudice: most commonly used to refer to a preconceived judgment toward a people or a person because of race, social class, gender, ethnicity, age, disability, political beliefs, religion, sexual orientation or other personal characteristics. This judgment does not need to have any basis in fact.
Bigotry: A bigot is a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices.
Colorism: is a form of discrimination in which people are accorded differing social and economic treatment based on skin color. Colorism occurs across the world and can occur within an ethnic group or between different ethnic groups. In most entertainment industries–including Hollywood–lighter skin tone is given preferential treatment and darker skin tone is considered less desirable. Oftentimes, heroes are cast with lighter skin and villains are cast with darker skin.