conversation
pathways:
race

We acknowledge there are many different ways to approach a conversation around race. We’ve offered five different pathways to help you enter the conversation where it feels most aligned with your framework, interests, and experience.

The conversations are meant to be done in the order they are outlined within the pathways, as they build upon one another, preparing participants for more challenging conversations. 

Race: Where do I start?

This is a great entry into talking about race for those who are just beginning their journey.

Empathy sets the tone to bridge our “us vs. them” perceptions. From there, beginning to explore how Social Identity or Status and Privilege impact the way we move through the world. Race is an identity that we each hold, and depending on one’s race it will impact the level of privilege afforded. You will have the opportunity to dive deeper with the final conversation guide in this pathway of Race & Ethnicity.

start with

choose between

finally, finish with

1. Empathy

2. Social Identity

OR

2. Status + Privilege

3. Race + Ethnicity

american aspirations

What stories we’ve learned in our history lessons can color the lens through which we view America, and even race relations. This conversation pathway invites you to consider America’s founding aspirations, the history of this nation, and your own experiences of race.

start with

next

finally, choose between

1. America We Want To Be

2. History + Society

3. Being White in the Anti-Racism Movement

OR

3. Race + Ethnicity

from intra- to inter-racial conversations

We celebrate the desire to have conversations about race in racially diverse groups and also acknowledge that it can be of value to have intra-racial conversations before coming together for interracial dialogue.

This pathway invites a group of racially diverse people to begin by having conversations within their own racial affinity groups. [If you’re curious about why we offer conversation guides for specific racial groups, check out Part 1 and Part 2 of our discussion, Let’s Talk About Race: Inner Group Conversations.]  

White folks are invited to talk about Being White in the Racial Justice Movement, while Black folks have the opportunity to discuss the emotions stirred up following George Floyd & Breonna Taylor’s murders, and people of color can dialogue together about their experiences of race and racism.

We then offer the chance to come together, reflecting on racial experiences together in an interracial conversation after safely processing with one’s own intra-racial conversation group. 

first, choose one of the following

then, finish with

1. Being White in the Anti-Racism Movement

1. Being Black in the Anti-Racism Movement

1. Being a Person of Color in the Anti-Racism Movement

2. Inter-Racial Race + Ethnicity Conversation

race + criminal justice

As calls for racial justice are uplifted in the United States, one clear indicator of racial injustice is the disproportionate rate at which Black people experience police violence and incarceration.


This conversation pathway gives you the opportunity to explore your own experiences with Police-Community Relations, Race and Incarceration, and the challenges of Release and Recidivism.

start with

next

finally, finish with

1. Police + Community Relations

2. Race + Incarceration

3. Race + Recidivism

race + ethnicity series

In this series of three in-depth conversations, participants explore the complexities of Race, Ethnicity, and their impacts on people from all walks of life. 

These guides have been developed in both English and Spanish. The English versions are linked from the titles below; the Spanish versions can be accessed by clicking the “en español” link below the titles.

Definitions: In the American context, “race” and “ethnicity” are complex terms often used interchangeably. These terms were initially separated to designate “race” as a biological quality and “ethnicity” as a cultural phenomenon.

For deeper exploration, these Guides make deliberate distinctions between these two identifiers.  For this Conversation (part 1 of the 3-part Race and Ethnicity Conversation series), we will focus on race as it is commonly defined. Common definitions of race include:
  • A grouping of humans based on shared physical or social qualities into categories generally viewed as distinct by society.
  • A group of persons related by common descent or heredity.
  • An arbitrary classification of modern humans, sometimes, especially formerly, based on any of a combination of various physical characteristics, such as skin color, facial form, or eye shape, and now frequently based on such genetic markers as blood groups.
  • A socially constructed category of identification based on physical characteristics, ancestry, historical affiliation, or shared culture.

start with

next

1. Race

The expressed American ideal is the creation of a society that is fair and has opportunity for all, regardless of individual or group identity. Even as we work to build a nation that reflects those ideals, there are challenges to living into its fullest expression. This conversation series is an opportunity to explore our varied experiences of race and ethnicity in the American context. Where are we and what do we aspire to for ourselves and our communities?

2. Ethnicity

Ethnicity means many things to many people, including (just for a start): your ancestral heritage, one’s cultural background, and things cultures typically include such as cuisine, holidays, ways of doing things, assumptions about “life”, etc. However, in the American context, race and ethnicity are often entangled with one another. This conversation’s primary focus is on ethnicity. For the purposes of deeper exploration, this guide (part 2 of the 3-part Race and Ethnicity Cohort Conversation) makes deliberate distinctions based on some of the common definitions for ethnicity.

finally, finish with

3. Race & Ethnicity Wrap Up

The ability to have meaningful conversations on Race and Ethnicity will be instrumental in developing a society that reflects the multi-faceted population of this country. However, this skill is not taught in schools, nor is it easily acquired. Unless one is part of a diverse community comprised of members willing to intentionally share their experiences with one another for mutual growth, most people will not have deep exposure to these conversations. The purpose of this conversation series is to help participants increase their capacity to engage in discussions that many typically experience as polarizing. This guide assumes that participant have completed both the Race and Ethnicity Conversations and have a desire to go deeper into personal narratives on these topics.

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