With different racial issues in the media, discussions on race and diversity have been brought into the
classrooms. When speaking about diversity, students may have mixed feelings about the conversation.
The issue that is being presented here from a student’s perspective is that these conversations are
not sparking the mind or interest of the students in ways that are intended. In many colleges,
the conversations on diversity are limited or close to nonexistent. But, even if talk about racial identities
is in place, this is no guarantee that the product of these talks is positive, nor that the talks themselves
are benefiting anything or anybody. Both faculty and students must contribute to changes in order to make
these conversations successful and inviting.
Throughout this guide, we strive to break free of the multitude of contradictions present in the
often times repeated dynamics of “race talk.” While understanding different teaching and learning
moments about diversity, this guide will attempt to provide effective teaching practices for cultural
competency and overall progressive dialogue in various settings. What we feel, what we know, and
what we do in terms of how we acknowledge these issues are not all one and the same. This
phenomenon is exemplified by the findings compiled into our Anthology. These writing samples from
Wheelock students were saturated with inconsistencies and hope, but also despair, when it came to
race-related social action and relative conversation in the Wheelock campus setting.
There are these contradictions when it comes to the conversations we must become a part of which
deal with racial disparity. Historically, there are correct and incorrect knowledges of race-related happenings and beliefs. Socially, there is also a right and a wrong answer when it comes to certain
topics. However, it is also fact that there are multiple truths to every story, and that every story is only one
perception. It is contradictory for one person’s comment to, at the same time, be fact and fiction, real and
unreal. This blurs boundaries while discussing race and experience, and all participants must be willing to
engage in others’ experiences. These qualities make objective and productive discussions about racial
intersection in everyday life often times overwhelming, and more harmful than proactive. We hope to
narrow the gaps between those on different levels of understanding, awareness, and interest.
This guide will be divided into a number of sections organized by the ideas being presented. The
sections are implementation, anthology, and research. Although there are many schools impacted by
the difficulties of having conversations on diversity, Wheelock College will be specifically focused on
throughout this guide. The investigation into the contrast between what experts says on how racial
conversations are to be handled and what is truly perceived as true on campus at Wheelock was our
primary focus while assessing the Implementations section, which provides detail as to how all of our
research, samples, findings, and analysis can actually make a significant difference in the ways that race
is discussed, both in classrooms and in personal life.