Engaging Conversations

Conversation Questions on Race

NASPA Presentation Resources

Video Clips

Recommended Simple Ground Rules:

  • Be prepared. It is our job as persons engaging to be open to learning and growth. That said, read articles, books, and watch videos to help you better understand the problems surrounding race. Do so with empathy, not judgment.
  • Be authentic. Speak from a place of honesty, not from a place where you think you should be.
  • Expect discomfort. This process is revealing, and often uncomfortable. But it is the discomfort that leads to growth.
  • Listen to understand. Don’t pass judgment on what is said, but rather, inquire to learn more about what they said (ie, use probing questions like ‘what do you mean?’ Or ‘can you clarify?’

Possible Questions to use

  • When did you first discover race? Was there a particular moment when you noticed race?
  • Have you ever experienced racism, either directly or as a witness? If so, would you share what happened, if you feel comfortable?
  • How do you think you or I can make a difference in the ongoing conversations on raced?
  • What would you say about race in America if you thought no one would know you said it?
  • What’s the difference between diversity and equality?
  • Can or should we be colorblind when considering race?

Check out some Resources on Race



Web Articles

Pervasiveness of racism – UT


White fragility

DiAngelo, R. (2011) http://libjournal.uncg.edu/ijcp/article/viewFile/249/116

Adler-Bell, S. (2015) http://www.alternet.org/culture/why-white-people-freak-out-when-theyre-called-out-about-race

Shroyer, A. (2015) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amelia-shroyer/white-fragility-is-racial_b_8151054.html

How to talk About Race

Smith, D. (2015) https://www.netimpact.org/blog/the-8-r%E2%80%99s-of-talking-about-race-how-to-have-meaningful-conversations

Books and Articles (refereed journals and books)

Brown, C. R. (and Mazza, G. J. (2005). Leading diverse communities: A how-to guide for moving from healing to action. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Crenshaw, K., Gotanda, N., Peller, G., & Thomas, K. (Eds.) (1995) . Critical race theory: The key writings that formed the movement . New York, NY: Free Press.

Gayles, J. G. and Kelly, B. T. (2007). Experiences with diversity in the curriculum: Implications for graduate programs and student affairs practice. NASPA Journal, 44:1. pp. 193-208.

Houts, L. H. and Feagin, J. R. (2007). Two-faced racism: Whites in the backstage and frontstage. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Group.

Jensen, R. (2005). The heart of whiteness. San Francisco, CA: City Lights Bookstore.

Johnson, A. G. (2001, 2006). Privilege, power, and difference. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Companies.

Kendall, F. E. (2006). Understanding white privilege: Creating pathways to authentic relationships across race. New York, NY: Routledge

Kimmell, M. S. (2006) Manhood in America: A cultural history. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

King, P. M. and Kitchener, K. S. (1994). Developing reflective judgment: Understanding and promoting intellectual growth and critical thinking in adolescents and adults. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Inc.

Kivel, P. (2003). Uprooting racism. Gabriola Island, BC, Canada: New Society Publishers.

McIntosh, P. (1988). White privilege and male privilege: A personal account of coming to see correspondence through work in Women’s Studies. In Critical White Studies, R. Delgado and Stefancic, J. (Eds.), pp. 291-299. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.

Nacoste, R. (2015). Taking in diversity: How we can move from anxiety to respect. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.

Pope, R. L., Reynolds, A. L., and Mueller, J. A. (2004). Multicultural competence in student affairs. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Reason, R. (2007). Rearticulating whiteness: A precursor to difficult dialogues on race. The College Student Affairs Journal, 26:2, Spring 2007. pp. 127-135.

Sue, D. W. (2015). Race talk and the conspiracy of silence. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Tatum, B. D. (1997, 2001, 2003). Why are all the black kids sitting together in the cafeteria? And other conversations about race. New York, NY: Basic Books.

Wise, T. (2002). White like me: Race and identity through majority eyes. In When race becomes real: Black and white writers confront their personal stories, B. Singley (Ed.), pp. 225-240.Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.

Wise, T. (2009). Between Barack and a hard place: Racism and white denial in the age of Obama. San Francisco, CA: City Lights Books.