Talking About Race

Talking about race, although hard, is necessary. We are here to provide tools and guidance to empower your journey and inspire conversation.

 

A lifelong journey

Talking about race starts with personal reflection:

  • When were you first aware of your race?
  • What do you remember from childhood about how you made sense of human differences? What confused you?
  • What childhood experiences did you have with friends or adults who were different from you in some way?
  • How, if ever, did any adult give you help thinking about racial differences?

Why talking about race matters

Everyone has a racialized identity.
Racialized identity has major impact on a person’s life.
Race is a defining social construct in American life. 
 

Who Am I?

I Am an Educator

Whether you are teaching infants, adults, or any age in between, you are an influential part of your students’ learning and development. Educators too have an important role in communicating our history and culture. What and how the history of race in America is presented is an opportunity to engage in thoughtful, respectful, and productive conversations. Start, continue, or expand the conversation with us.
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I Am a Parent or Caregiver

There’s no quick or foolproof way to talk about the complexities of race with your child(ren). But, it’s a conversation all families need to have, no matter your race, background, education or experience. Let’s get started, continue, or expand the conversation together.
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I Am a Person Committed to Equity

You care about making the world a more equitable and just place for all. You may just be starting to think about your role and ability to impact others, or, you may be further along on your journey. Wherever you are, what you do and say matters. Explore how to speak and engage constructively about race, so we can all grow together.
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I want to know

Start your journey by exploring one of the Talking About Race topics.

Historical Foundations of Race

American society developed the notion of race early in its formation to justify its new economic system of capitalism, which depended on the institution of forced labor, especially the enslavement of African peoples. To more accurately understand how race and its counterpart, racism, are woven into the very fabric of American society, we must explore the history of how race, white privilege, and anti-blackness came to be.

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Whiteness

Socially and politically constructed, whiteness is not simply referring to skin color but is an ideology that reinforces power at the expense of others and strengthens systems of oppression. Let’s dig deeper.

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Community Building

Community building is something we do together to share perspectives, create brave space, and foster relationships. We are members of a community dedicated to ending racism. Let’s build a national community and grow your local one.

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Resources

Jamestown - Bacon's Rebellion

Kim discusses how the system of indentured servitude in colonial Virginia transformed into a system of African slavery after Nathaniel Bacon's rebellion against the House of Burgesses.
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"The Invisible Whiteness of Being: Whiteness, White Supremacy, White Privilege, and Racism"

In our society, Whiteness is a default standard; the background of the figure-ground analogy from which all other groups of color are compared, contrasted, and made visible. From this color standard, racial/ethnic minorities are evaluated, judged, and often found to be lacking, inferior, deviant, or abnormal. By D.W. Sue, American Psychological Association.
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