Race and Ethnicity
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 is an opportunity to explore our experience of race and ethnicity. Where are we and what do we aspire to for ourselves and our community?
Background Information:Do you want to further your knowledge? Check out our Juneteenth LRC Live where six Black community leaders gathered to share what Juneteenth means to them, offer ways others can honor this day, and consider their vision for continued liberation. In addition, we offer custom trainings. If you’re interested in bringing Living Room Conversations about race into your community (workplace, school, etc) we’d love to support you! Custom trainings are perfect to tailor our tools to fit the specific needs of your workplace, school, and more. Features of a custom training may include modeling best practices, creating an exclusive conversation guide, co-branded PDF with tips for talking about race, and more. For more information, contact [email protected]
Let's Get Started!
Living Room Conversations offers a simple, sociable and structured way to practice communicating across differences while building understanding and relationships. Typically, 4-6 people meet in person or by video call for about 90 minutes to listen to and be heard by others on one of our nearly 100 topics. Rather than debating or convincing others, we take turns talking to share, learn, and be curious. No preparation is required, though background links with balanced views are available on some topic pages online. Anyone can host using these italicized instructions. Hosts also participate.
Why We're Here (~10 min)
Share your name, where you live, what drew you here, and if this is your first conversation.
How We'll Engage (~5 min)
These will set the tone of our conversation; participants may volunteer to take turns reading them aloud. (Click here for the full conversation agreements.)
- Be curious and listen to understand.
- Show respect and suspend judgment.
- Note any common ground as well as any differences.
- Be authentic and welcome that from others.
- Be purposeful and to the point.
- Own and guide the conversation.
What We’ll Talk About
Optional: a participant can keep track of time and gently let people know when their time has elapsed.
Getting to Know Each Other (~10 min)
Each participant can take 1-2 minutes to answer one of these questions:
- What are your hopes and concerns for your family, community and/or the country?
- What would your best friend say about who you are?
- What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?
Race and Ethnicity (~40 min)
Take ~2 minutes each to answer a question below without interruption or crosstalk. After everyone has answered, the group may take a few minutes for clarifying or follow up questions/responses. Continue exploring additional questions as time allows..
- Were conversations about race a part of your upbringing? If so, how was the subject approached?How did the people around you talk about other races?
- Do you feel your race impacts your daily life? If so, how?
- Have you ever been accused of being racist? How did it make you feel? Did it affect the way you think or act? Why or why not?
- What would a society that values racial and ethnic differences look like? What hopes and fears come up for you thinking about that society?
Reflecting on the Conversation (~15 min)
Take 2 minutes to answer one of the following questions:
- What was most meaningful / valuable to you in this Living Room Conversation?
- What learning, new understanding or common ground was found on the topic?
- How has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group, including yourself?
- Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?