Adam Jones, Chaska, MN. I am a para in a special education class, and the high school in which I work is very diverse. The longer I work in this field, the more I have come to see that kids are kids. People are people. I am frustrated, elated, encouraged, concerned, and inspired by all […]
Avery, Chicopee, MA. I’m white, but many of my friends growing up were children of color. I always thought that we were treated the same because nobody was overtly racist. Then I started educating myself and learned about concepts like dog-whistling and microaggressions. I was stunned to realize that I had been totally wrong the […]
Ruth Lee, Spokane, WA. We are each exactly what we are meant to be. There are no mistakes for our journey here on Earth.
Susan Hirtz, Vallejo, CA. My contribution is to create historical fiction for young adult readers incorporating upbeat stories about our diverse backgrounds.
Dana, San Antonio, TX. Around the world, my white skin and my blonde hair make me easily identifiable as an American. This superficial categorization has lead me to wish that people took the chance to get to now me for who I am, rather than making assumptions about my character. In return, I challenge myself […]
R.E.A.L. Talk, High Tech Middle Media Arts, 7th Grade Trailblazer Last year when the police brutality shootings started, my parents talked to me about what happened, they were really surprised and I was to. I wondered why these policemen would do such a thing when we have come so far with racism. I run into […]
Brenda Footer Silver Spring, MD I live in a very diverse neighborhood, where many El Salvadoran and Dominican families live. People are always trying to speak to me in Spanish, because I have olive skin and dark hair. I’m as white as can be, but it’s always been this way. Italians assume I’m Italian, Latinos […]
Jim Schultheiss, St. Johns, MI. I have always felt that I needed to be very careful and thoughtful on issues related to prejudice. Growing up in as a white, heterosexual male in a community largely lacking diversity, I learned I needed to listen very carefully to the thoughts and experiences of others and not impose […]
Mark Overmann, Washington, DC. I grew up in a mostly white suburb north of Cincinnati, Ohio. My grade school was not diverse. I remember one black classmate in my year – we played baseball and basketball together – and one girl of Asian descent, but that’s about it. My high school was more diverse, but […]
Brandi Schroeder, East Lansing, MI. I have a rather diverse group of friends, and the other day one made a comment about my origins. I grew up in a predominantly caucasian town where my high school held maybe 10 black students. My friend, who happens to be Somali, asked this question, and upon my answer […]
Sun Absy, Omaha, NE. My family is incredibly diverse, racially, culturally and religiously. I feel fortunate to have spent a life within environments where peoples’ superficial traits aren’t the focus. An aspect of overcoming racism and prejudices is learning to let go of categories and labels and to stop (whomever you are and whatever group […]
Samuel P. Wilcock, Mechanicsburg, PA. Messiah College, Faculty. Just look at race by census track. The “West Shore” is over 90% white pretty much all over the place, while the “East Shore” is much more diverse and white is the minority in Harrisburg. We lived in Lemoyne, right across the river from the city, and […]
Ansel Oommen, Queens, NY. Once we realize that all people are uncannily similar, we can start to support a diverse human ecology of symbiosis.
Britt Verstegen, Socorro, NM. I grew up as a blonde, blue-eyed kid in an interracial family within a racially diverse neighborhood of inner-city Detroit. My step-father is Black and my sisters are biracial. Due to my family composition, I became aware of white privilege at an early age. For example, I knew in third grade […]
Jarae Farrell, Poughkeepsie, NY. My father is West Indian and my mother is black. I grew up in a very diverse town in the northeast, so when I was younger I knew there were people who looked different than me, but race wasn’t really a thing for me until I was in high school. Even […]
Benito Camela, Dallas, TX. Why no calls for diversity in Africa, South America or Asia? Just Europe, and even countries with no significant history of colonialism.
Michael Ponsler, Brooklyn, NY. I’ve enjoyed an extremely diverse social life, dated & married interracially and on countless occasions have been the only white person within a crowd, community or family gathering. I have never been harassed, harmed or threatened by a person of another race. However, I have been rejected, assaulted and/or threatened several […]
Brad Crump, Floral Park, NY. As a Presbyterian Pastor I serve a diverse congregation (Guyanese, Jamaican, Black, White). As a teacher I work for a Middle School in Springfield Gardens (97% non white). While I spend every day serving the diverse cornucopia of NYC I am seen by many as the problem, the privilege, the […]
Jessie Blakely Los Angeles, CA I was raised in Hawaii, where there really isn’t such thing as a racial stereotype. Hawaii kids tend to be so ethnically diverse, that any stereotype today may apply to up to 1/2 of their bloodline, but rarely more. When I moved to the mainland to go to college, I […]
Bryant, Chandler, AZ. I was raised in a family that didn’t think about race. I didn’t connect that I was white and others were black. My family just didn’t think that way, I wasn’t raised to think about the color of someones skin. Only the merit of their actions. The shock that would stay with […]
Sara Tall, Submitted via Twitter: @saractall. In my super diverse high school we would have said “So acceptable we all crack jokes.” Low income = high understanding.
Ayla A. Wilk, Blacksburg, VA. I grew up in a small town in the south side of Virginia. Our town was built on a foundation of tobacco plantations and textile factories. We had only one high school. The population breakdown was nearly 50/50 African American to White – other ethnic groups were negligible. The blessing […]
Andrea Krida Goff, Providence, RI. I’m a teacher in a wonderfully diverse urban high school in Providence. Every year during Spirit Week, one of the days is devoted to cultural celebration. We have African-Americans wearing colorful headwraps, Asians wearing kimonos, Dominicans waving their country’s flag, and me. Every year I struggle with a wardrobe that […]
Esra Yagoub College Park, MD University of Maryland
Louise Bannon, Holly Springs, NC. Raising, playing, growing and living as a diverse family is an extraordinary experience. It brings both good days and tough days – obstacles and disappointments, laughter and lightheartedness. The journey is full of stares – stares full of curiosity, stares full of love and stares of hatefulness from the people […]
Haley Sprecher, Portland, OR. I have grown up in a diverse community and have been raised to respect everyone for who they are. Every single one of us has had different experiences which makes us individuals. Something has to change, the behavior of some people is unacceptable. A little bit of respect goes a long […]
Gaby Segalla, Washington, DC. I’ve been adopted…twice. I was raised in a diverse community and I attend Georgetown Day School which is a very accepting school. I’m Vietnamese but I’ve been raised in America by a white family. When I am with my family and a friend who is white to other people I’m the […]
Benny Burnett-Smith Las Vegas, NV My first job was at a McDonald’s in Southeast Texas. It was a very racially mixed workforce and taught me so many things about race and respect. Working alongside others from different backgrounds than my own towards the common goal of serving food and doing a good job has served […]
Colleen Schwab, Seattle, WA. I grew up in a very diverse area of CA where many children were first generation immigrants, and many children were of multi-racial backgrounds, mostly middle to lower class families. And my whole family has grown up with and around people from many different backgrounds. So I had no issue trying […]
Elyzabeth Inez Smith, Granbury, TX. No matter what history has come to discover. No matter what the future has to uncover. No matter what excuses people can come up with in order to justify the racial lines man has created. In the end we ALL are the same race. The only race. The ever colorful […]
Scott McLean, VA The world is full of millions of people trying their hardest just to get by. They do not have time to be racist. “Racism” is not a problem in the U.S. It is the most diverse country in the world. Go to Japan. Go to Iraq. Go to Scandinavia. Try to be […]
Em New York, NY Born in Mexico, to mexican parents, crossed the border to find a better life, learning english on tv, grew up in Queens, the most ethnically diverse county in the US, with Colombians, Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, Ecuadorians, two brothers many shades darker than I, my mother “the help,” always having too […]
Jacque Howard Tenton, NJ Growing up in Central NJ as well as my diverse educational and professional experiences. I have come to the belief that humans do not recognize other humans who look differently as the same. I believe most people want the best for themselves and others, the hard part is living in a […]
Steve Bedminster, NJ Humans are diverse. Not all whites are the same culturally and genetically, and the same applies for Asian, Latin American, Spanish, and Black people as well. In this diverse world you will meet a great deal of diverse people. Most of them will be of different ethnicities than you. This is perfectly […]
Lucy Francesca Davies London London is diverse. Yes, I am a white girl and yes I am fortunate in my upbringing. No it is not ok for you to generalise and call me “such a white girl” when I eat grapes or hummus, and have starbucks. If I called you out on a racial stereotype, […]
Don Wright Lewistown, ID It’s not easy working with a diverse group of people until you get to know each other. It starts by sticking out your hand and inviting the other person to get to know you. It doesn’t have to be complicated, just a simple gesture of mutual respect.
Laura Furst Erlanger, KY As a little suburban white girl, the only black, latino and asian people I saw for many years was on tv. I loved Good Timea, the Jefferson’s, Different Strokes, Welcome Back Kotter, Sanford and Son and Chico and the Man. TV really exposed to a world outside my Irish- German Catholic […]
Cole Chandler Waco, TX It is difficult to stand in solidarity with one another and overcome our fears of one another when we continue to segregate ourselves in our supposedly integrated society. We are not even diverse, much less reconciled. What a tragedy.
King I Allah Lowell, MA This question is at work and on the streets (I’m a so-called Hispanic teacher in a predominantly white teaching force in a predominantly immigrant city). What they mean to say is, “You know what I’m talking about, right? You are like them. So, you must know. Right?” No, just because […]
Published on May 16, 2012 by Mercedes Barragan Inspired by Michele Norris, some very ambitious employees at Cascade Engineering wanted to know how its employees felt about race. We created race cards similar to the ones Norris uses and passed them out to employees at Cascade Engineering. Over 100 employees expressed their personal feelings around race […]
Roderick Gray, Chico, CA. I am as much a mixed up mutt as everyone else. When I am referred to as white, my liberal guilt kicks in, and visualize a monolithic evil race. Euro-American includes my diverse ethnic background–my slave owning ancestors as well as the multitude of working poor ancestors for whom existence was […]
Christy Moeder Ann Arbor, MI While taking a college course, we were challenged to learn about other ethnicities. As well, we were asked to reflect upon ourselves in our views of other cultures and whether we are diverse or not. During this course, I realized I was not a diverse person at all. I have […]
Jackson Macdonald Burlington, VT Although I am white i got to a school that is split almost evenly white and black. We are a very diverse school. However I feel whenever I make a comment to a black student or a student of any other race I’m told I’m a racist. I don’t try to […]
Alicia Velez Stewart Providence, RI I also could have gone with “Wow, you don’t look Puerto Rican,” or “You are too “white” for us.” My father is 100% Puerto Rican, my mother was an all American mutt (as she would say – Lithuanian, Irish and English). Even so, my last name was still Velez and […]
Joe Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan I feel like this phrase accurately describes my feelings towards race as well as that of the nation as a whole. My hometown is the opposite of diverse, and coming to Ann Arbor has truly opened my eyes to a world of diversity that I […]
Brad Aden St Louis, MO Those are my six words. I was in such hopes after the Presidential election that we were starting to run the corner and that we’d see some positive discussions surrounding race. During the campaign it was amazing to see such a diverse group of people all coming together in a […]
Christophe Vogt Berkeley, CA
Juluis Youngerford, Atlanta, GA. Nobody can tell the truth about race, that is, what they think about their own race or other races, because nobody makes nice distinctions between race and class, or between the different types of racial prejudice and hatred, so they can’t say just what they don’t like about others, and they […]