Q2: Race is always so sensitive to talk about. How can I keep a conversation focused and productive?

Our recommendation is to keep the conversation focused on the results people want to achieve (e.g., all children graduate from high school) rather than who’s to blame for present inequities. Of course, figuring out how to get the desired results will require a focus on what’s to blame; that discussion can be directed toward policies, programs, and practices that need to be changed. We recognize and respect that in their work against racism, some people give priority to racial reconciliation, whose processes require personalizing the issues.3 Nonetheless, our approach stresses opening the conversation around shared goals and values as a way to begin the process of reconciliation. Our approach prioritizes the reduction of racial inequities. In turn, we believe such results have the potential to build the sort of trust that can contribute to the deeper personal process of racial reconciliation.

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“Creating the Space to Talk About Race in Your School” content on this web site and in our "Racial Justice in Education" resource guide © 2017 National Education Association, in collaboration with Race Forward.