Day 4: Courageous Conversations
Generations of adults were taught to be “colorblind” as children. In other words, we were encouraged to see everyone simply as individuals and asked not to focus on skin color. Many of us understood this perspective and incorporated it into our daily lives. For that reason, it can be confusing now to be asked to see people’s skin color. In fact, you may know people who say, “I don’t see color” and are completely well-intentioned. While the goal many years ago was noble, a consequence of this teaching is many people did not openly acknowledge differences and may have unintentionally diminished the unique personal experiences of others.
This is one reason why talking about differences now can be so uncomfortable. It contradicts the mindset and philosophy we were taught to have as children. Yet, these conversations are so important to developing better understanding. Talking about differences such as race, religion, or ability should not be taboo. Instead, these conversations can be a positive way to build connections and develop personal relationships. The resources provided below will share additional ideas.
Did You Know?
The Rush-Henrietta Multicultural Parent Advisory Council (MPAC) was formed in 1999 to encourage conversations among parents and the district to empower, inform, promote high academic achievement, provide cultural and social enrichment, and instill leadership qualities in our students. All parents are invited to join this important group.
Resources for Learning
Option 1: Watch Glenn Singleton’s Courageous Conversations About Race (5:24)
Option 2: Watch Intergroup Anxiety: Can You Try Too Hard to Be Fair? (5:31)
Option 3: Read Colorblindness, the New Racism
Consider these ways to reflect, grow, and take action:
- Review the Continuing Courageous Conversations Toolkit and complete the activities independently, with a friend, with your family or with colleagues at work.
- Watch Why Do Labels Matter and think about whether you are comfortable having conversations about differences with other people.
- Think about a time you were uncomfortable and consider the four agreements of Courageous Conversations to expand your growth in this area.
- Attend an upcoming MPAC meeting and learn more about the work being done through this committee.
Office of Professional Learning Google Site Offering:
- Social Justice Standards | Unpacking Diversity (1 hr CTLE)
"Courageous Conversations About Race, Second Edition," by Glenn E. Singleton
A follow-up to Glenn Singleton’s 2005 best-seller, this second edition includes added content to help people of different backgrounds gain a greater understanding of the need to have productive conversations about race.
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