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 […]

Predominantly White Community; Michigan Changed Perspective

Steven Tobias Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project, University of Michigan Short Summary: 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. […]

A bridge divided; submerged in mind.

Anonymous, Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan Race is an abstraction that can only be interpreted emblematically through the eyes of its creators. It fragments the whole. All people are racist, racist we are. With varying depths, some people are racist at the deepest and darkest level, never seeing light, never able […]

Why wait until we’re in college?

Megan Gilson Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan As a future high school teacher, I believe that race and diversity education should be mandatory component of high school curriculum. College should not be the first time that students study modern racial inequality in depth.

Celebrate Differences; Encourage Inclusiveness by Example.

Katie Pethan Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan When we are able respect and understand the diverse cultural, economic, gender, age, ability, and racial experiences in the US and around the world, we will become more able to decrease discrimination and thereby increase our effectiveness. This is the core meaning behind, “United […]

White privilege mostly invisible to whites.

Shawn Jackson Ann Arbor, MI Understanding race Project- University of Michigan Too many confuse class struggle with racial privilege and it causes them to deny and/or actively oppose the idea that they have any privilege at all. Just because some minorities can excel or some white people are poor in our capitalistic society doesn’t mean […]

What is your race? Check one.

Destiny Carter Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan I feel that the institutional concept of race often forces people to identify with only one race, even though they may be made up of more. I feel that race is important in that it allows people to find commonality with others however, I […]

Where did you learn your English?

Sameer Belgaumi Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan I’m a Pakistani-American who grew up in Saudi Arabia. I hear this question so often that I wish I had a better reason than “I was born speaking it.” The truth that English was one of the first languages I learned, seems like such […]

Heritage Day? I am a mutt.

Christina Vallem Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan When the elementary school holds a Heritage Day my kids would ask me “What are we?” At first I would say we are “mutts.” Kids love dogs and understood the answer. My best answer evolved into “Northern European mix.” An improvement over rattling off […]

In a survival state exclusion dominates

Ava Dupre Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan When my belly is full of food and my needs are met, everyone has space in my heart. When my survival is at stake, whether it be food, water or love, I look at everything as an obstacle to my survival and pursue the […]

No, where are you actually from?

Aliza Hirani Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan I am a Pakistani-American, born and raised in Texas. When people ask me where I am from, I proudly tell them Dallas, Texas. Then, without a fail, I get the response, “No, where are you actually from?” I have realized when some people ask […]

Race/Ethnicity does not equal Nationality

Lita Ray Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan Since people always ask me what my nationality is in order to know my ethnic background it BOTHERS ME LIKE none other.. because my nationality is American. By asking me what my nationality is takes away from my Americanness. So my 6 words are: […]

We are all a little racist.

Joyce French Ann Arbor, MI We can think that we are not racist, but we all hold thoughts and beliefs that are racist. Racism is ignorance about another group based on fear and distrust., in my opinion.

Color blind is forever culture blind

Katherine Liu Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan I dislike it when people say that they don’t pay attention to the color of one’s skin, or they’re essentially “color-blind”. There should be no PREJUDICE or DISCRIMINATION toward anyone on the basis of their skin tone, but race creates cultures that have their […]

Not big deal unless made one.

Paola Mendez Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan Race is a social construct and will continue to be seen as an issue in our society until we stop making it one. We need to simply teach our children that people look different but that appearances have no effect on one’s character and […]

Don’t look. I looked. And smiled.

Emily Puckett Rodgers Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan I was asked if there was a story behind this. Of course there is. I grew up in Northwest Arkansas and almost all of my family comes from the state, going back several generations. Most of my family is well educated (college or […]

I’ve got nowhere to call home.

Claudia Ivette Sanchez Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan Displaced. Not from here nor there. Mexican, El Salvadorian, Guatemalan, but born in the USA. Never fully from anywhere. Race a lot of times comes with place. Where you grow up shapes what you think about yourself and others. As you venture out, […]

Still a long way to go.

Bruce Mannheim Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan I divide my time between two countries, the United States and Peru. Both have long histories of (very different forms of) racism. In both, there are public rhetorics full of good intentions. But the micro-injuries of everyday racism–death by a thousand small cuts–pervade both, […]

CONTENT OF CHARACTER: forgotten or ignored?

Kate Ann Arbor, MI “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr. Your skin color and/or screaming “racist” don’t earn you a free […]