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.

Self-Care

Self-care is what we deliberately do to care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Our well-being is critical to sustaining our work in dismantling racism. Let’s take care of ourselves – and each other.

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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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Resources

"Immaculate Perception"

TEDx Talk. Do you discriminate? UCLA law professor Jerry Kang exposes the phenomenon of automatic processing and how it relates to explicit and implicit bias. Decades of research shows that attitudes and stereotypes influence how we see and behave. Despite our best efforts, are we all under the sway of "the rightness of whiteness?"
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"The Invention of Race"

This history special traces the development of racial, and racist, ideas, from the ancient world -- when "there was no notion of race," as historian Nell Irvin Painter puts it -- up to the founding of the United States as, fundamentally, a nation of and for white people (despite the "all men are created equal" language of the Declaration of Independence). Relying on the work of Painter, National Book Award-winning historian Ibram Kendi, and a recorded workshop presentation by the Racial Equity Institute.
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