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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Being Antiracist

No one is born racist or antiracist; these result from the choices we make. Being antiracist results from a conscious decision to make frequent, consistent, equitable choices daily. These choices require ongoing self-awareness and self-reflection as we move through life. In the absence of making antiracist choices, we (un)consciously uphold aspects of white supremacy, white-dominant culture, and unequal institutions and society. Being racist or antiracist is not about who you are; it is about what you do.

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Bias

A bias is a tendency, inclination, or prejudice toward or against something or someone. Even people who are not deliberately prejudicial may have implicit biases. Let’s learn more about this and other types of bias and their real-world impacts.

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Resources

"Implicit Racial Bias Causes Black Boys to Be Disciplined at School More Than Whites, Federal Report Finds"

Washington Post reporter Valerie Strauss reveals findings in a government report detailing the unequal treatment of black boys in school
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"How to Practice Active Listening"

By Arlin Cuncic. Active listening refers to a pattern of listening that keeps you engaged with your conversation partner in a positive way. It is the process of listening attentively while someone else speaks, paraphrasing and reflecting back what is said, and withholding judgment and advice.
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