This post contains resources that provide guidance on talking about race and racism. You will also want to read Change Agent Skills: Managing Challenging Situations. Towards the bottom of the page we provide recommendations for books that will deepen your understanding and insight into race and racism in the US.
On Talking About Race: Recommended Books*
On Talking About Race: Recommended Essays and Posts
The 8 R’s of Talking About Race: How to Have Meaningful Conversations
By: Dwight Smith | June 18, 2015
Nothing bridges the divide of race and culture like informed dialogue that’s grounded in shared understanding. In my interactions with our network, it’s become increasingly clear that people of color and white folks alike are fed up and more ready than ever to engage: in conversation, in protest, in revolution, or all the above. When it comes to tackling the issue of racial inequity, we have to combine that eagerness with preparation.
This post contains some of my recommendations for all of us who are eager to better understand and address racial inequity. I asked a few friends, colleagues, and experts to weigh in as well. These steps aren’t exhaustive, but they’re all necessary precursors to effective dialogue.
Why its So Hard to Talk to White People About Racism
by Robin DiAngelo, Huff Post 04/30/2015
“I am white. I have spent years studying what it means to be white in a society that proclaims race meaningless, yet is deeply divided by race. This is what I have learned: Any white person living in the United States will develop opinions about race simply by swimming in the water of our culture. But mainstream sources — schools, textbooks, media — don’t provide us with the multiple perspectives we need. Yes, we will develop strong emotionally laden opinions, but they will not be informed opinions. Our socialization renders us racially illiterate. When you add a lack of humility to that illiteracy (because we don’t know what we don’t know), you get the break-down we so often see when trying to engage white people in meaningful conversations about race.”
by the Anne E. Casey Foundation.
Note: Before reading we suggest you review Change Agent Skills: Best Practices for Managing Challenging Situations first
Productive conversations about race are difficult to have. This is particularly true for a focus on embedded racial inequities. Based in communications research, this tool makes such conversations more likely to achieve results everyone can embrace.
- Overview of the kinds of issues that typically arise in conversations about race – and their advice about how to handle them
- Advocacy messages:
Click here to download the full pdf: Talking About Race from the Anne E. Casey Foundation
On Talking About Race: Highly Recommended Video
Jay Smooth – How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Discussing Race
*Note: If you click on a resource and purchase it from Amazon, we will get a tiny percent that we use to reduce the cost of our services.