To see Dale hurt, still hurts.

Erin Thomas, Riverside, CA. In 1956, when I was in 4th grade (9-10 years old), we had a less-than-kind teacher, but you were taught to respect your teacher, no matter what. We were sitting in a circle on the floor having some kind of sharing session and the teacher had a boy, Dale, stand up […]

Stop awaiting apologies just do it!

Roberta Smith, Boston, MA. During the conversation, once the white guy spoke about self responsibility a lot of black people were visibly upset and I feel, most black people in the audience stopped listening because they were “offended”. The black rapper basically encouraged black people NOT to get involved in government. What if Obama felt […]

White colleagues discuss racism without us.

Michelle, Rochester, NY. My liberal white colleagues have long conversations about the problems with racism in American. They have interesting ideas about solutions to the problem, but they rarely listen to the brown people in the room. Is this a white savior problem?

Even a poor conversation beats silence.

Nicholas Howe, Northhampton, MA. Smith College I attended a mixed-race suburban public high school in Connecticut, where I competed on both the swim team and the track team in the late 80’s. Only one member of the swim team was African American, and his race was the elephant in the room that nobody would talk […]

White people, it’s not about you.

Jaqui, Bremerton, WA. So often, when having a conversation about race white a white person they are unable to step outside themselves. They are either A) focused on how they personally never owned slaves/lynched someone etc or B) more worried about their own hurt feelings, because somehow pointing out that the system of oppression that […]

Fear and reconciliation: oil and water

Dirk Elting, Honolulu, HI. People cannot reconcile their differences when they do not feel safe. We scare (and anger) one another not only through our acts, but through our criticism, defensiveness, stonewalling and contempt. What psychologist John Gottman has shown to be true for couples, I believe to be true for race relations. I have […]

When we run out of “firsts”

Greg Hudgison Columbus, GA I am hopeful that one day race will the last part of the conversation, and not the first. My six words refer to when another race is the first to accomplish something. I believe we will make progress when we are out of the first race to accomplish a task or […]


You’re not like most black girls.

Felicia Oakmon, Autin, TX. This statement is a repeat offender. I am half black and half Mexican, but I wasn’t aware that ALL “black girls”,or ALL people are exactly the same. Instead of judging people by media, social networks,and what you have heard… take the time to have a conversation, take the time to listen […]

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Gwen’s Take: Race, Morning Coffee & The Race Card Project

REPOST from Gwen’s Take: Making peace and making coffee BY GWEN IFILL March 20, 2015 at 10:52 AM EDT I woke up one morning this week to discover that Starbucks had decided to launch a new initiative at its coffee shops, branding their paper cups with a #RaceTogether hashtag and encouraging baristas to chat […]


White man, from: Idaho, Arkansas, Justice

Michael R Riley, Potlatch, ID. I can go over to Seattle and order coffee, make conversation, and say I’m from Idaho, and the people are all, “Oh, there’s a lot of white supremacy over where you live.” I explain that the SPLC shows more hate groups on the I-5 corridor than there are in my […]

Racists Are Not Always Bad People

Michael Havis, Brooklyn, NY. I think the word racism no longer defines the conversation we should be having. The image of racism in America is of the KKK or southern slave owners with whips. Being racist and being a good person are not mutually exclusive. Racism today isn’t being a part of lynch mobs or […]


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 […]


Norris speaks about race in America

by: Chelsea Dickson Oct 6, 2014 Courtesy of: The Tartan “America’s conversation on race has only just begun,” said NPR correspondent Michele Norris during a talk on racial diversity last Wednesday at the Carnegie Music Hall. The lecture, titled “Eavesdropping on America’s Conversation On Race,” proved more than an exercise in listening, and rather an […]

Begin: Befriend someone different than you.

Karen Fritts, USA. We talk and talk about race, but most of us stay in their own corners during the discussion. We cannot begin to understand each other from a distance. We cannot begin to trust one another without understanding. Are you willing to foster a friendship with someone different…a friendship that you are comfortable […] (1)

The Race Card Project Partners with PBS for “America After Ferguson”

We are excited to share our partnership with PBS to capture the reactions from “AMERICA AFTER FERGUSON” — a PBS television special moderated by Gwen Ifill. This PBS town hall meeting, moderated by PBS NEWSHOUR co-anchor and managing editor Gwen Ifill, explores the many issues brought into public discourse in the wake of Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, […]

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Michele Norris is an Alchemist.

…TEACH AND TALK ABOUT RACE TSWBAT BLOG by: ALEXANDRA B. REZNIK, WRITING & EDITING CONSULTANT October 2, 2014 Michele Norris is an alchemist. She transforms the stories and histories of those who experience and inflict the burden of racism, into the foundation of American individual experience and collective history. The atrocities of our past are not […]


Norris sparks conversations on race relations

BY EMILY STURGEON / ON APRIL 3, 2014 AT 12:19 AM / In an explanation of her work exploring race relations in America, Michele Norris said it is important to spark national dialogue about the still-relevant topic of race, even if it is with just six words. Norris, a renowned radio journalist and former host […]

Constant conversation with my radical mom.

Alexis Danzig New York City, NY Manhattan This exhibit moved me to tears. I am so proud of the Brooklyn Museum, delighted to see the work of my college art teacher, May Stevens! I was wishing I could share the experience with my mother, Naomi Danzig. My mother was born into the modern Jewish orthodox […]

The world isn’t black and white

Jackie Tieu Beaverton, OR As an Asian American I am left out of conversations about race all the time. Conversations about race are centralized on blacks and whites. Asian issues are rarely talked about and not acknowledged enough. I am not white and I am not black. I am Asian.

Race Card Project creates new type of conversation

JESSE WASHINGTON— Dec. 1, 2012 She asked for just six words. Michele Norris, the National Public Radio host, was starting a book tour for her memoir, which explored racial secrets. Sensing a change in the atmosphere after the election of the first black president, and searching for a new way to engage and listen, Norris […]

Everyone’s too afraid to discuss race

John Swissler Jr. Madison, WI It is usually said that the two topics you never raise in polite conversation are religion and politics. But my experience is that most people can have a far more useful conversation about either of those than they can about issues surrounding race. Gunnar Myrdal is still right: it remains […]


55 mph means you black man.

Gregory McGriff, Rutherfordton, NC. I am an Ivy-league graduate and a board-certified medical doctor.  The subject of race comes up all the time but the conversation that should follow is usually very short.  When I see the speed sign on the road announcing 55 mph (or whatever the legal limit is).  I know that posting […]

So easy to offend without intent

Leslie Veen San Francisco, CA There have been times when I have used a word or phrase that seemed neutral in meaning to me only to be informed by someone from a different cultural background that it is actually quite offensive. Sometimes it feels hard to have any conversation at all without stepping on unknown […]

Hope conversation can lead to healing.

Anonymous Garland, TX Seeing these race card statements, reading the essays, reassured to see that so many people are feeling this pain. Can we talk about it with each other and heal racism one relationship at a time but recognizing how alike we are? That would be a grand thing.

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 […]