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 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.

Click here to read full essay

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.”

Click here to read full essay

Why I Don’t Talk about Race with White People

by John Metta

What follows is the text of a sermon John Metta gave as a “congregational reflection” to an all-white audience at the Bethel Congregational United Church of Christ on Sunday, June 28. 

Click here to read the full sermon

Race Matters: How to Talk 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


On Race and Racism: Recommended Books*

between the world and me book

How to be an antiracist bookhow to be an antiracist

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram Kendi, One World; First Edition edition (August 13, 2019)

citizen book

Talking about race book

Talking About Race: A Workbook About White People Fostering Racial Equality in Their Lives by Kaolin, Crandall, Dostie & Douglass Books, Incorporated; 1st edition (January 15, 2010)

fatal invention book

*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.