I’m here to change your stereotypes

Denali Lukacinsky, Honolulu, HI. People look at me and assume all kinds of offensive things about what black people are supposed to be like, they come up to me and explain all the ways that I’m “different”, and “better” and “not like them.” Well guess what, I am like them. Don’t lift me up by […]


Differences never change but opinions do

Molly W., Denver, CO. I am a 6th grade teacher and my class has been reading Fire From the Rock about the integration of Central High School in Little Rock in 1957. This six-word story was written by one of my students in response to our reading. http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/book/fire-rock


A “Racist” charge changed my life

Robert Crosman, Anchorage, AK. Explanation: I was a good liberal, with the milk of human kindness in my veins, when a black student I viewed as marginally disruptive called me out in the middle of a class on Renaissance literature, calling me a racist because I was trying to ignore his too-frequent questions and comments. […]

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Treat every race as your own.

Eva Dotti, Long Beach, CA. This is the best way I can be the change I want to see. I don’t ever want to be a racist and not know it, so I always make a conscious effort to remind myself that racism exists, and every action can help erase it.

I think I am becoming racist

A., USA. I work in an area with a lot of Hispanic or Latino immigrants from different places. I have not had many good experiences with them. For awhile I just tried to excuse their behavior as not knowing or understanding the cultural differences but it’s getting harder. Before I continue, yes I know there […]


Change must come from within you

Anonymous, Portland, OR. Honestly, the change had to come from within. I grew up in a very white area and my parents were raised in a way that was unacceptable and I had to change myself and their views. So I say, it comes from within because if you truly believe things should change, it’s […]


I am who I’ll always be

Cassandra, Cleveland, OH. The process I went through to identify those six words is by realizing the six words that mean the most to me. What I mean by this is that those words explain who I am in short for everyone. I thought about what I felt was most important to me and, what […]

Change On Counter Not In Hand

Kristina T. Sanders, Sumter, SC. A regular day at work turned into an eye opening experience. I had helped a customer pick out a pair of shoes, and it was time for him to purchase them. The customer was a tall middle age Caucasian gentlemen. I gave him his total and he pulled out the […]

I don’t plan on changing ever.

Zahnyah, Philadelphia, PA. I am me, I act the way I act because that’s just me, I am going to be me forever so if people don’t like it they need not talk to me or they might as well as just get used to it. I’m not going to change unless I feel as […]


Privilege means responsibility to be better.

Morgan Lavandowska Minneapolis, MN As a 21 year old white woman, I have the privilege of being white that gives me power to do what others can’t. Instead of abusing that power, I prefer to try to help bring positive change to the world and, hopefully, help bring equality for all.

Once uneducated/naive. I’m changing that.

Jordyn Ducotey, Seattle, WA. Recent events have really made me challenge my own thoughts and the perceptions that I have been taught. I consciously make an effort to expose myself to the injustices that are occuring in the world around me. I actively seek stories and look into them instead of listening to what my […]

Not all southern people are racist

Logan Money, Summerville, GA. As southern citizens, we are often accused of being racist, homophobic, and resistant to change. Some are, but not all of us are. Most of my friends are minorities and that includes homo/bisexuals. as a matter of fact, most of the major towns are culturally diverse.

Be the change (and) ignite the possibilities!

Betruth, St.Paul, MN. We need to have so much hope for those who choose to see the love and peace in the world. While also seeing all the perspectives and opinions of others. Our cultural differences can lead us a stray from all the facts. I will not be burdened by the pigmentation of my […]


Changing the path of my children!!

Tina Bradford, Chino Hills, CA. Being raised in a home where “White is Right,” I only had one thing I could do. So I went on my own path of development. Creating myself into the black sheep of the family. Why would I do such a thing? So my children could learn we do not […]

Perceptions of race…change….over time…

M’Karyl Gaynor, Decatur, GA. I am 52 years old and I am from the Midwest (Rockford, IL) and while there was not an absence of racism per se…my friends and I were fortunate enough to grow up in a community where our families, communities and educational experiences allowed us to experience integration at its best…I […]

We Created Race, Then Change It

Brent Vuglar, Houghton, MI. Just like any controversial subject where people do not see eye to eye, people tend to be close-minded to others opinions. This development of tension plants a seed of anger to one another. I myself grew up in a not so very diverse suburb, and when I was younger I believed […]


Johns Hopkins University-A dialogue about diversity with Michele Norris

A dialogue about diversity: JHU hosts 11th Diversity Leadership Conference NPR correspondent, keynote speaker Michele Norris stresses importance of discussing race, diversity issues to ‘create change and comfort levels’ by Amy Lunday Michele Norris spent much of her career as a journalist trying very hard not to be the person who was always talking about […]

“You can’t change what you find.”

James Edward Harrah, Boonsboro, MD. My Father passed long before I grew interested in our family history. Upon the birth of my son, this was the response from an Aunt when I began tracing my family tree. It’s interesting how something most likely out of convenience and considered scandalous over 130 years ago, represents so […]

Holy Cow! It’s a black person!

Bonny Hanan Cottonwood, AZ I am not a racist and I know this sounds bad. However, I grew up in a very small town that was largely controlled by racism even in the recent past. It was so bad that Black people didn’t live here for very long when they did try to move in. […]

Times Have Changed.. Or Have They?

Juanita Shields Tuscaloosa, AL People Say That Mistakes Are Lessons Learned, But When Does Those Lessons Become Permanent? When Will This Society Realize That We Can Benefit A Million Times More From Each? We’re Supposed To Be A Nation, United, Standing Together For A Common Good. If You Want Your Country To Be The Best, […]

Change will take another generation

David Bennett Park City, UT I am a criminal justice consultant. I was working in a major southern city and an elected official said to me, “How do you expect a white person to come in here and have any credibility.” This is NO different than what the whites did to the blacks that is […]

Set an example/Be the Change

Amanda Hemet, CA I know how it feels to be judged only on the color of your skin. In 8th grade during the LA riots I went to school just like any other day. When I got there I was confronted by a large group of students who began yelling at me. This quickly escalated […]

Place change in my hand, please.

Gwendolyn Simmins Hope Mills, NC There are customer service people who give change by placing it on the counter instead of placing the change into the customer’s hand. My response to this is not silence. I say: I handed you my money. Place my change in my hand, please.

Blacks shunned me trying to communicate

Rayna Delaney Pharr, TX This occurred to me in 1969 as I started college. I was a naïve white girl from a rural all-white neighborhood. Had read a lot about Blacks and their struggles. I was surprised when I sat down next to a group of Blacks and they ignored by attempts to start a […]

“The World changes, people don’t change.”

Jim Evangelista Eugene, OR This was a saying my grandfather, Ludovico Spadafora from Palermo, Sicily, often intoned. He had many pearls of wisdom and this one stuck with me and when I heard about your project, I thought to share it with you. It’s given me a measure of acceptance, peace and compassion in many […]

Laid his change on the counter

Steve Williams USA I was 12 and working in my Dad’s gas station in a small town in Nebraska in 1968. I had never seen a black man before. As soon as I laid his change down instead of handing it to him directly I realized he was no different. But too late.

Be white, but not too white

Carissa Stouwie Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan My butt is very sun burnt, and not willingly. I am a ginger. I have white skin, some could even say translucent. I tan so that I can blend in, so that people don’t ask if I am albino, or if the carpet matches […]

Race’s implications are real, must change.

Taine Stoll Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project, University of Michigna As a scientist, I know that there is no biological proof to our perceived differences in race. However, coming from a multicultural family, I have personally witnessed the differences that skin tone can have on your interactions and ways you are treated. I hope […]

Change On Counter Not In Hand

Kristina T. Sanders Sumter, SC A regular day at work turned into an eye opening experience. I had helped a customer pick out a pair of shoes, and it was time for him to purchase them. The customer was a tall middle age Caucasian gentlemen. I gave him his total and he pulled out the […]

I don’t hate who you hate

Ann H. Baltimore, MD I am always amazed and mostly saddened that people will use slurs or other hateful speech and assume I agree with them. “What can you expect…”?, “those #$% are buying up all the stores and gas stations”. I am so glad to have reached the age where I no longer let […]

Sure, but would you marry one?

Tom Bethesda, MD When my (white) mother worked at NAACP in the 60’s my Dad infamously questioned her sincerity. Mom died a decade ago. Dad spent last weekend walking precincts for Obama in NH. Hope and change indeed.


Can change myself and my attitude

Anonymous, Oakdale, MN. The Serenity Prayer is used by many different kinds of recovery groups because it helps focus ones strength on the issues one can control and helps to let go of those one cannot control. Its a tough prayer to apply all the time, but the one part I can always apply is […]

1619 to 2012 – not enough change!

Erin R. San Antonio, TX For too long I was unaware of my own racial privilege (as a white woman), but thanks to my graduate studies, my mentors, and my conversations with friends it is overwhelmingly apparent that slavery exists today in the US. To believe in a post-racial US is to ignore one’s own […]