Approaching Conversations about Race
As individuals, it is our responsibility to take it upon ourselves to read this guide and believe in the
possibility to create an environment of inclusivity and effective conversations.
· There are countless social dynamics present amongst peers at any given moment, though we
are not always aware of them, that are affecting the conversation.
· Remain open to others, but do not compromise your beliefs.
· It is okay to feel uncomfortable while talking about these topics because they are not easy, but it is
important for growth.
·There is probably going to be silence, which can be beneficial, but remember to take the next step
because that is important for deeper and future discussions.
· “If you are going to pull the rug out from somebody, you have to give them a soft place to land”,
this does not mean protect-people-with-comfort.
· Know that everybody is at different places in life, also remember that this is still no excuse not to
grow and broaden people’s/your own mindset.
· Though all experiences are personal and differing, keep in mind that no experience is original.
“Youre not the only one who feels/thinks/etc... like that”.
· Take it upon yourself to read, write, listen, speak.
· Believe that it is going to work, or it won’t.
· Bring these principles everywhere you go.
· Must understand your own identity.
As a community...
· We can always keep learning, and in turn, always keep teaching.
· We all have responsibility in changing anything.
· Meet people where they are in the present.
· We must understand how others feel.
· But remember, you can still only control yourself.
Ideas for Using Our Guide
Along with the guide, which provides research and information about how to foster effective classroom conversations and acceptance, this anthology can be used in a variety of ways:
- Explain the workshop: Word hoard, with "identity" as core word in cluster
- Brainstorm what identity means to students, generate ideas about what your class believes identity is
– Recognize that no two classes or groups are the same and will not produce the same answers
- Relate identity to field of study; diversity is important to understand in any field
- Determine how obstacles prevent us from working together
***Anonymity works well, students share more when their names are not attached and lets faculty get to know their students in an overall perspective
Generate Effective Coversations
- Read aloud pieces from the workshop & discuss them
- Faculty can add their own perspective on their own identity
- Use current events to show racism as social and structural and allow students to talk about race in terms of
their own identities, but also events outside of campus
– Use current events to teach objective summary
- Write student's own definitions of words provided
- Highlight words that are uncomfortable or unfamiliar
- Add words to list as a class
- Write definitions at the beginning and the end of the semester to see change and growth
-Students can read the anthology and reflect on one or more pieces, how they relate, or how the pieces may make them feel uncomfortable
***This can be anonymous