Anti-racism and the Theory of Racelessness, with Dr. Sheena Mason

Through her traumatic and abusive childhood, Sheena Mason found her safe haven in school and literature. Her thirst for knowledge and escape led her down the path of consuming all she could on race, liberation, resistance, African-American history, psychology, and more. Ultimately, she came up with the Theory of Racelessness.

Dr. Sheena Mason is an Assistant Professor at SUNY Oneonta, keynote speaker, and founder of Theory of Racelessness.


Jackie Ferguson: Hi, and welcome to season five of the Diversity Beyond the Checkbox Podcast sponsored by The Diversity Movement. I’m your host, Jackie Ferguson equality advocate and certified diversity executive. On this show, we discuss how diversity, equity and inclusion benefit our workplaces, schools, and communities by sharing the stories, insights, and best practices of game changers, leaders, and glass ceiling breakers that are doing the work to make our world a more understanding, welcoming and supportive place for us all.

Jackie: I’m speaking with Dr. Sheena Mason, and Dr. Mason is a leader and educator speaker and culture driver. And among other things, we’re going to discuss her theory of raceless. Dr. Mason, thank you so much for joining us.

Dr. Sheena Mason: Thank you for having me, Jackie. I’m glad to be here, yes. 

Jackie: So before we jump into all of the many things that we’re going to talk about, I want to give you an opportunity to just share a little bit more about yourself. 

Sheena: Increasingly, I often don’t know where to start when people ask me that question, but I guess I’ll start with the more recent stuff. I’m an assistant professor at SUNY Oneonta. I’m the founder and president of a company called Theory of Racelessness. I have a doctorate in English literature. I specialize in African-American American and Caribbean literature, and I’m primarily interested in invested in this topic of anti-racism, the solution to racism, which a lot of people right now are taking up the banner of anti-racism you’re either for it or you’re against it, and figuring out what are alternative solutions that actually get more people closer to the outcomes that we profess that we want, but that I see people still being in the trap of that’s created by race and racism. 

So those are my primary interests and I do that through teaching. I have a forthcoming book called Decolonizing the Racialist Imagination, that’s expected out early spring of 2022. And additionally, do teaching, obviously professionally as an assistant professor, but outside of, of the sort of official classroom space, I work with all kinds of organizations, including non-profits on how to get anti-racism right. And I view that as an extension of my teaching efforts. 

Jackie: Thank you for that. And Dr. Mason, let’s talk about what anti-racism is, right? Cause you know, people often say, well, I’m not racist, right. But what’s the difference between not being racist and anti-racism.

Full Episode Transcript

Diversity Beyond the Checkbox is brought to you by The Diversity Movement, hosted by Head of Content Jackie Ferguson, and is a production of Earfluence.

For sponsorship options, email

Amplify Your Expertise
About the Author
At Earfluence, we are proud to produce this podcast. We believe in sharing amazing stories, providing knowledge to the world, and celebrating diverse voices. Through podcasting, our clients are amplifying their expertise, expanding their networks, building a content engine, and growing their influence. If you're interested in podcasting, we'd love to hear from you! Schedule your free 15 minute podcast consult today.