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Being white makes race discussions difficult

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Allen Hester Cheyenne, WY I have been involved in a speech in debate program for 5 years now (4 years in high school and 1 in college), so I have been surrounded by intelligent kids questioning, arguing, and persuading others to see things in a different light. This is also where I saw the most [...]

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Some see me as an Oppressor

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Adrian S. Bennett Bremerton, MA I am dedicated to Equality for all persons and the values that make up Diversity. As I journey through my career as an Equal Opportunity Adviser and an Equal Employment Opportunity Specialist and Program Analyst, my hardest realization has been that some people will always see me as an oppressor… [...]

I’m Mexican-American, heritage comes first

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Bessie King Boston, MA I don’t think I have been offended by being asked “Where are you from?” before. I was raised to know that I am a Mexican with an American passport in a country where everyone is from somewhere. Until the USA truly embraces diversity and it’s own history, there will be no [...]

Racism: prejudging ANYONE based on race.

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Jeff Arvada, CO I was raised in a military town with such overwhelming diversity that I didn’t realize race was an issue until I was 12 and went into foster care. Suddenly I was surrounded by a predominantly African-American group that hated me because I was white. Now let me be clear I didn’t assume [...]

I welcome diversity and shun suffocation

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Kacie Vancouver, WA I grew up in a very white area of the U.S. and still at 23 years old, I’ve had very few friends of different races or lifestyles. Only within the last year have I learned a lot about a different race (Hispanic culture, particularly Mexican) and it has been the most eye [...]

White privilege is power. Listen. Act.

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Stephen Wollentin Asheville, NC In the words of French philosopher Voltaire, ”with great power comes great responsibility.” I believe it is my responsibility, as one with power, to listen to and validate the experiences of those for whom discrimination is a daily reality and to exercise my privilege in support of equality and appreciation for [...]

She is not a token Latina

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Leslie Carver San Diego, CA I am a professor & was profoundly affected when I heard a student talk about having been referred to as a “token Latina”. I realized that although I care a great deal about diversity on my campus, I had been guilty of thinking of students that way – as the [...]

Why is being white so bad?

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Tiffany Kosakowski Grand Rapids, MI I feel like I am constantly walking on egg shells because I am white. I have to be careful how I joke, who I like or dislike, even places I go. It is getting a little tiresome to hear people accuse white people of being racist because they do not [...]

Hometown never knew anybody unlike me

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Scott A. Hall Adel, IA Growing up in a small Midwestern town the entire population of the town looked like me, acted like me, worshiped like me. It wasn’t really until college that I was able to truly experience diversity of culture, race, nationality.

Saddened, inspired, still far to go

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Jeff Schaffer Los Angeles, CA Seeing this exhibit reminds me of the sacrifices made by our predecessors, and inspires me to continue working for a world in which all are cherished for their diversity, and there is equal opportunity for all.

diversity is a sign of progress

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Saira New York City, NY Brooklyn An immature nation is still afraid of racial tolerance and hesitant to move on to a state of love and acceptance. With time, the nation learns and grows. The result is a community in which all are free to contribute to its progress and maturity is thus reached.

Race=Diversity, not a competition.

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Meg Litts Staples, MN Maybe we should never have started using the word ‘race’. It prompts comparative thinking. Instead of viewing difference as something to celebrate, we have used it as a weapon for destruction, stepping on one another to rise to the top. The top is a pretty lonely place in that paradigm, whether [...]

Hated wearing green on St.Patrick day mom.

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Daniel Luis Soto New York, NY I consider myself Puerto Rican. Grandparents from PR My great grandfather on moms side is from Ireland. Going further back on both sides my heritage spans the globe from Spain to England to various British occupied islands. Im proud of my diversity, but I look Puerto Rican speak spanish [...]

I think diversity enriches us all.

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Robin McCants Columbia, SC Born in 1962, I have seen some change in attitudes toward race in my 52 years on this earth. This generation has a chance to live Dr. King’s DREAM. I am glad to be able to see that happen!

Don’t blame me for the past.

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Greg Camp Fayetteville, AR I did not live in the era of legal slavery or Jim Crow. I did not support those laws. And don’t waste my time with talk about privilege. Claiming that white males have privilege simply by virtue of being white males denies the diversity in outcomes that we experience.

I’m me, not my intolerant family.

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J.S. Oklahoma City, OK I am me. I come from a long line of intolerant, hate filled family that would sooner walk away from those who are different they are rather than stay and learn and revel in the diversity. I am me and I am never going to be that which I seemed destined [...]

Cherish your race, appreciate others diversity

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Anonymous Seattle, WA Diversity is a gift that has been manipulated to segregate people. Divide and concur is how the system of government controls so many people but to be able to overcome this one must first accept Everyone for what they stand for and not what they wear or there pigmentation.

This question shouldn’t even be there.

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Samantha D. Los Angeles, CA I’m from Eastern Europe and I find America’s racial diversity very interesting and exciting. That being said America is entirely too focused on the label of race – from job applications, college applications, scholarships, to nearly every government form. The principle of the question really bothers me and I usually [...]

Diversity Means Add A Few More

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Ambika Howell Rochester, NY Funny how when you hear the word “diversity” being used to talk about how workplaces, etc., are attempting to appear to be DIVERSE, all you see is a few people of color on a cover page, or a poster, or on their website, surrounded by white people kind of in a [...]

I’m proud of my state’s diversity

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Bridget Ruff Portland, ME Everytime I meet someone from another part of the country, they immediately label me as a white hick from a rural state. I live in Portland (yes it’s a city and it doesn’t rain) and go to a school where 26 different languages are spoken by a quarter of the students. [...]

Sheltered white girl now values diversity.

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Jennifer Rapach Pittsburgh, PA I grew up in rural Western Pennsylvania in a public school that was 100% white, 100% Christian. Before I went to college, the only non-white person I knew was my doctor. Now I seek out opportunities to interact with other races and cultures, and a large part of my job is [...]

“Reverse Racism”? Your privilege is showing…

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Andrew V. Chavanak Falls City, NE When companies choose to make diversity a priority in hiring, or universities seek to create a more diverse student body and white people miss out, it’s not racism. Racism is about power, and no one can claim that power is shared equally in this country. Hearing other white people [...]

Crossed the street to avoid them.

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Chris Sherman St. Louis, MO I’m a Caucasian male, who was brought up in a fairly tolerant household, and learned to be accepting of diversity & difference, yet still have subtle race prejudices that are hard to shed. I know in my heart, it’s more a matter of pigment and culture, than anything, but still, [...]

Alright if I look at you?

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Margaret Snyder South Portland, ME I live in a predominately “white” city, but one where there are over 60 languages spoken. I see people of all colors around the city, and I find the languages, clothing, and colors to be enjoyable to experience, but I often feel it is not okay to stop and observe [...]

Why don’t you want to assimilate?

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Yvonne C. Montoya Zamora Cheney, WA Asked by a white male during a roundtable discussion on race during a diversity retreat several years ago. He was the only white person at the table while the rest of us were people of color.

Cascade Engineering

Cascade Engineering Race Card Project

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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 [...]

Where’s the box for cultural diversity?

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Isabelle Strauss McLean, VA I feel boring when I fill out race and ethnicity on a form – I’m white, nuff said. Or maybe not. My father’s family is of Anglo-German descent, fairly common in the US, but my mother came to the US as an immigrant. Growing up, I spoke a different language at [...]

Not born racist, just born white

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Jake Skillman Greenfield, IN Even as a small child I loved diversity, insisting on going to Korean school on Saturdays with my friends, checking out language books in Romanian, Japanese, Spanish and even Swahili. It’s crazy, because I grew up on a country farm, living in a trailer. Some how that automatically made me a [...]

In a bubble, then it popped.

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Emily Laske Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan I lived in a small city that was 94% white, with minimal exposure to the concepts of race and racism. Coming to the University of Michigan was an extreme sort of diversity culture shock for me, and through my courses I have gained knowledge [...]

Predominantly White Community; Michigan Changed Perspective

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Steven Tobias Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan I grew up in small, predominantly white community in Richland, MI. We did not have any diversity in our community and the first time I experienced this feeling of new culture and perspective was at the University of Michigan. Diversity flourishes here.