The dialogue is an educational process around the understanding that racism is an institutional construct that was built into our system, and much of it exists today unintentionally and indirectly. That the current narrative has developed around sketches of unrelated conversations often of myths, and misunderstandings that leave people unclear on racism, it is definition and its operation. May are often not sure it isn’t a thing of the past.
The Dialogue series is designed to offer a series of conversations that help participants unpack the confusion and misinformation around race. Race is so often left out of the education of most Americans starting from their developing years.
The dialogue is structured in six consecutive sessions for two-hour each.
Each gathering is limited to 15 participants. The sessions are led by a team of trained facilitators usually of diverse ethnicities. The six sessions explore various aspects of racism from its origin, to its operation and its impact on society. Participants prepare for the discussions by reading factual articles before each session.
The Format of each session
During each session, the facilitators set an environment for open, honest, brave conversation. The format of the discussion is around three topic questions with 10-minute breaks during each session.
- Topic Question 1, leads them from exploring the supporting articles
- Topic Question 2 asks them to talk about their past and present thoughts, experiences, and observations around race and finally
- Topic Question 3, they move into looking at what they would like to see changed and what they can see themselves doing.
Our motto is “talk is action” and we prepare them for the kind of talk that can lead to meaningful understanding and informed action.
- Session I – Definitions and distinctions needed in the discussion on race
- Session II – White privilege and ignorance
- Session III – Understanding how institutional racism operates, intentionally or not.
- Session IV – “Struggle and Transformation” is about the last movement to end racism, changes that resulted from the movement, and what is left to complete to ensure full rights for all.
- Session V – The affirmative action article is about the constitutional change designed to roll back racial discrimination and level the playing field.
- Session VI – “A Time for Action” and “Can We Talk” are two articles used to discuss how participants can use what they learned to be a part in eliminating racism.
This was a wonderful experience which I felt really brought home the concepts of institutional racism and white privilege. Our group was soon comfortable with each other and able to have an open dialogue on these tough concepts via the guidance of our two wonderful moderators. I strongly recommend this to anyone who wants to understand how racism is having an impact on people of color in the modern world.
- Heather M.
The Dialogue on Race series has been one of the most significant learning experiences I've ever had the pleasure to be a part of. I highly recommend it to anyone who's seriously interested in having an open and honest dialogue (not debate) on race and who also wants to play their role in dismantling racism in our community.
- Eric D.