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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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

Racial Integrity Laws

Racial integrity laws were passed by the General Assembly to protect "whiteness" against what many Virginians perceived to be the negative effects of race-mixing. They included the Racial Integrity Act of 1924, which prohibited interracial marriage and defined as white a person "who has no trace whatsoever of any blood other than Caucasian"; the Public Assemblages Act of 1926, which required all public meeting spaces to be strictly segregated; and a third act, passed in 1930, that defined as black a person who has even a trace of African American ancestry.
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"The Five Domains of Wellbeing"

All of us—from janitor to judge, senior executive to senior citizen, adult to adolescent—share a set of universal needs that are critical to our wellbeing. These essential human needs are what the Full Frame Initiative defines as the "Five Domains of Wellbeing."
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