Dys and Dis will not mean unlikely.

Hadasah A, Toano, VA Dyslexia and Disability has no color. I’m entitled to the same services as the green and purple students, which comes to school every day! I am likely to be successful, to dream, to choose a career, because I think I will be good at it! I can be a social worker, […]

I promise to stand against injustices

Kaylena Crowell, Norfolk, VA Growing up, my mom taught me to stand up for what I believe in, no matter the consequences. My family, originating from California, had open views, and I was taught to see no color. Despite this, I grew up in a rural, backward town in Southwestern Virginia, wherein my graduating class […]

I wish my nana was proud

Maura Grieco, Norfolk, VA My nana is Japanese American, she moved to the states at age 20 after having my mother and marrying my grandfather, a white man in the navy. She is proud of being Japanese and embraces her culture outwardly now, But did not when my mother was younger. She never taught my […]

Pro peace, not anti war.

Mallorie Morris, Springfield, VA we can not fight this ongoing war of racism with more racism and hate. we must learn to accept our differences and understand that people have different ways of living. We are all human, why does it not feel that way though?

Lincoln Memorial with Ace. I understand.

Jonny Cecka, Richmond, VA. I have always had progressive attitudes about equality and so-called “race,” but visiting the Lincoln Memorial with my adopted 13-year-old son, Ace, was profoundly moving and made me understand the sacrifices of Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., and countless others in a deep, personal way.

The “quiet girl” in the back

Alyssa Banas, VA. Before I attended college, I was known as the “quiet girl” that sat in the back of the class. I loved meeting new people, but I just had a hard time communicating with people without being shy. My teachers always told me to participate in class because the ideas I wrote down […]

It’s time to expect the unexpected.

Desiree, Chesapeake, VA. When I was growing up in the 70’s and 80’s I use to hear about black people are the most uneducated race, and have the highest drop outs rates. In my family neither mother or father side have education. If anyone is educated there are distant family members. Therefore growing up the […]

Don’t straighten your hair, baby girl.

McKinley Dixon, Richmond, VA. In the dominantly caucasian school that my sister used to attend, she would get picked on for her hair being curlier and fuller than the other girls in her school. It got to the point where she would straighten it every morning before we go to school. Damaging her hair, for […]

Who Is That Mean Black Man?

Kevin Creamer, Richmond, VA #URTRCP #TheRaceCardProject These words were said to me by my then three-year old daughter, who was reflecting in her mind about Darth Vader in the Star Wars movies. But my wife and I were struck by the inappropriateness of the comment on its face value, and it was then that I […]

We must learn to live together

Mark M. Person, Richmond, VA My family donated Nat Turner’s Bible to the AAMHC of The Smithsonian in Washington, DC. Mr. Turner was baptized on Persons Millpond in Southampton County in 1828 and had the Bible with him traveling through the area preaching the gospel. The Bible is in the right place and is an […]

I did not know I’m biased

Tom, Richmond, VA, I always prided myself in not being racist or biased. After well over 40 years of life I finally realized I have automatic biases that I did not realize were there that impacts my decision making #URTRCP #TheRaceCardProject

I am Hispanic enough for you!

Ian Diaz, Norfolk, VA Intersectionality exists. Too long have I been told that I’m not Hispanic enough, not white enough, and not black enough to exist in certain spaces. But I am enough. Others cannot dictate my existence. I am who I am and I am a proud, mixed gay man.

Everyone must learn from our past.

Mark Person, Richmond, VA My family has recently donated Nat Turner’s Bible to the New African American Museum of History and Culture and I have served as a spokesperson for the family. Rev Turner was baptized on our family property Persons Millpond in Southampton County, Virginia back in 1828. Persons United Methodist Church, est 1838, […]

Don’t Care What Color You Are!!!

Anonymous, Richmond, VA I clutch my purse because I was raised in New York where the police actually come to school assemblies teaching us how to clutch our purses in a way where we won’t get pickpocketed or mugged. I’ve been doing it since grade school and it has nothing to do with who is […]

I am no longer taking disrespect.

Dashe Jones, Richmond, VA The most disrespected person is the black woman. I am not going to sit by and be used as a walking matt no more. I am not a trend and I am not a toy you throw away when you feel like it. Black women are magical and are worthy

If I could have another chance

Jean LB Creamer, Richmond, VA If I could have another chance If I could say I’m sorry I would scream it till I cried I would plead until you knew I would post it on the Bricks of the Food Lion on Forest Hill Avenue Where I unleashed a torrent of anger Borne not of […]

Why don’t we all love diversity?

Hilary Appleton, Richmond, VA I am fascinated by people–who they are, where they came from, and the story of how they got to where they are today. I’m interested in people who share my story, but I’m even more interested in those who have a completely different story. To me, commonalities are nice and even […]

Being Black and southern, educated engineer

Kristen Ellerbe, Richmond, VA. Calling me an Oreo or not really black, or basically a white girl means that you define some part of my personality, attitude, preferences, or demeanor as being owned and attributed solely to white people. Is it my intelligence, my sense of style, or how I speak? Is it because I’m […]

The white community must do more.

Clare Pugsley, Charlottesville, VA I chose these six words because America in 2019 is a place filled with more open (and hidden) racism and bigotry than I ever could have imagined. I feel a responsibility as someone who has benefited from white privilege throughout my life to speak out against prejudice when I witness it. […]

White Stepson, Black Son, Multiracial Daughter

Keith W. McIntosh, Richmond, VA I am blessed to be married to my lovely and talented partner, Penny. We were in prior relationships which gave us sons. Our boys were 4 years old when we met and our first date was taking them to Sesame Street Live on Ice. I would often joke that our […]

I’m not woke, but I’m learning.

Joe Boehman, Midlothian, VA University of Richmond I grew up not having to think about my privileges. I believed that I was a product of the American Dream. My dad worked hard, earned his college degree in night school after coming home from WWII, and my mom and dad put my four siblings and I […]

I have a dream…

Scott Tilghman, Richmond, VA I met Reverend Samuel Billy Kyles at the Loraine Motel National Civil Rights Museum in August 2009. My daughter and I were traveling across the country and visited the Museum. Rev. Kyles gave us a 20 mins civics lesson and first-hand account of “I have a dream”. I keep the autographed […]

Your fear is not my fault.

Lawrence Dortch, Vienna, VA. I’m tired of smiling all the time to alleviate other people’s fears of me. I am not a monster and I shouldn’t have to dress a certain way or smile when I don’t feel like it to make white people feel comfortable.

Busing: white girl, black schools, lonely

Clara Silverstein, Boston, MA. As one of the white children in Richmond, Virginia in the 1970s whose family willingly participated in busing, I had few friends of any race. What we could have used at the time was leadership instead of racist rhetoric, white flight, and school administrators who cancelled all after-school activities. The possibility […]

Surprise surprise I was born here

Victoria, Fairfax, VA. I was born in Conway, SC. I’ve lived in the States for nearly two decades now (all of my life so far). It wasn’t till I was in elementary, and I had to ask my mom why boys would say “ching chong” to me that I realized that I was somehow different. […]

Well educated Asian-Americans asked, speak English?

Christine Thai-Pappa Fairfax, VA I was at a National Convention for my sorority, which is an Asian- American Interest sorority. A number of us had gotten onto the elevator at our hotel. There were girls from the University of Virginia, Berkeley, Standford, Cornell, and Carnegie Melon. At the next floor a group of older Caucasian […]

Smart black kid plays tennis alone.

Raheem Cash, Alexandria, VA. As a kid I spent a lot of time being one of two or three black kids in honors classes. Spent a lot of time being only black kid that played tennis. Spent a lot of time not being considered “black enough”. Well I’m not a kid anymore and fortunately I […]

Scared that we are not enough

Tanya, Manakin Sabot, VA. My (adopted) son is biracial, his bio-father is unknown. I will never be able to connect him with his biological African American family. There is a void that I will never be able to fill for him . This breaks my heart as his mama.

Feeling Conflicted about my family history

Romaine Martin II, Richmond, VA. I Think Ancestry.com is very therapeutic. You can spend hours researching your family’s cold cases. One bit of information I found out left me feeling unsure of how to feel at all. “Green Gore was born, in 1816, the son of Robert Gore (1783 – 1870/1880) and Tomsey Jarrel,(1778 – […]

Sheltered friends. Life is not effortless.

Mary Beth Bergeron Rapid River, MI I am white. I have lived in Tidewater, VA and a highly diverse college town in southwest Ohio. My husband and I have just moved home to the UP of Michigan after 32 years away, homogenous and familiar. I am reminded of how effortless it is–regardless of your race […]

Mother gave me a different world.

Mary Horton Richmond, VA I didn’t realize until shortly before her death how different the world my mother gave me was from the one she was raised in. My mother had Alzheimer’s, and in the last few years of her life, she reverted to some of the attitudes and behaviors she had learned while growing […]

Divide in America demands one listen

When I entered high school, I quickly learned terms like white privilege, white fragility, and microaggressions, which challenged my identity. While I understood I benefited from white privilege, I did not like the label. Still, the racism embedded in our institutions and the frustrated feelings of my friends motivates me to want to be part […]

They are Canadian and won’t tip.

Robyn, Norfolk, VA. Real Canadians do not tip in Canada because their wait staff is paid an adequate salary. However, black people, in the restaurant world, have been given the nickname Canadians because they normally do not tip. I feel like this is so wrong to stereotype people and give them unacceptable service just because […]

My daughter isn’t a “China Doll.”

Debra Cope, Alexandria, VA. Adoption is beautiful, and I really don’t mind helping others navigate the awkward preconceptions that accompany it. But this phrase just burns me because it equates my spunky, lively child with an object . She’s not my toy — she’s my daughter!

Don’t say “that is so black”

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 […]

With burnt flesh, we’re the same.

Brian Makris Blacksburg, VA I’m from a small town in upstate NY, and we had two African American families in our town. We just viewed them like everyone else, and I didn’t experience any racism growing up. When I went into the Army in 1991, I experienced my first bit of racism from Southern white […]

Sometimes we should just listen quietly.

Lucas Sullivan, Christiansburg, VA Michele’s presentation on the Race Card Project had me in a tizzy for days thinking of what I could say. What could my impact be? As a white cishet male in America I have loads of built in privileges. If the only voice that gets heard is mine I will be […]

When did “enunciating” mean “sounding white?”

Skye Carr, Virginia Beach, VA. Throughout middle school and high school, people used to always call me an “Oreo” because I was one of the few black students in my class that spoke properly and enunciated my words. I’m curious when enunciating became something that only white people did.

Tribalism is more divisive than race.

Elias Jones, Charlottesville, VA. It is tribalism that leads to assumptions both affirming (they are like me, they accept me, I am safe with them) and disruptive (they don’t like us, we don’t trust them, they are different). Tribalism perpetuates white privilege, empowers classism – which is informed and compounded by racism and sexism – […]

All are precious in His sight.

Mary Haak, Orlean, VA I think we (white folks) must be afraid we’re going to be treated as poorly as we’ve treated everyone else once we’re no longer the majority. What I’ve seen from folks, regardless of color, religious affiliation, ethnicity or any other category, is that everyone just want to be treated with dignity […]

But Black Mental Health Matters Too. . .

Drew Ferebee, Norfolk, VA What are some character traits you think of when someone ask you to describe a black man? Whats the first thoughts that pops into your head when you think of a black woman? Strong. “He was a strong, easy going black man.” “Behind every man is a strong black woman.” For […]

Andes shadows follow me, no Quechua.

Carmen Mendoza Tintaya, Arlington, VA. My parents are from a remote village in Arequipa Peru, where only until 2006 accessible roads were built. Now with both my parents gone, I find myself looking for my identity and looking towards that little village. I haven’t made the trip yet. I moved to the US when I […]

My race isn’t who I am

Jackson R Barnes, Ferrum, VA. My race/ ethnicity hasn’t effected me in the slightest. I have not been discriminated against or any other of these ill circumstances that I hear others go through. Perhaps I am sheltered or maybe I am blind, but in a case such as this maybe it is better to be […]

Out of Appalachia, into the world

Katie Pickard Fawcett, McLean, VA. Grew up in Eastern Kentucky in a county that is in the bottom 5% economically in the country. I have done social work in Appalachia, tutored students for SAT prep in VA, worked at the World Bank for 10 years, and am the author of To Come and Go Like […]


Janice Davidsson, Norfolk, VA. You can’t help who you fall in love with and this American girl fell in love with an African boy. So that makes our son African American. Here’s the catch that a lot of people have an issue with… He’s white. He has blonde hair and blue green eyes and is […]

White, Black, Brown should not matter.

Jonathan Bennett, Forest, VA. The only problem is it does and to too many. America, the America I grew up in, was described as a melting pot where diversity was supposedly celebrated. Now I see that there was always a thin veneer of racism strewn throughout my childhood that still persists today, especially with this […]

Black culture is alien to whites

Jane Levin, Charlottesville, VA. There’s a fantastic scene in the film, An American Werewolf in London, where the American backpackers go into a pub called the Slaughtered Lamb. They are so uncomfortable because they are so out of place and completely clueless about the local culture. To say they feel conspicuous and uncomfortable is an […]

To belong everywhere and nowhere simultaneously

Amanda Baran, Arlington, VA. “No, I’m not Mexican. Nope, not Latino. I’m an American who’s half Syrian and half Indian. Well actually, my father’s former nationality was Syrian. His parents were refugees from Turkey who were expelled during the Armenian genocide. No, they weren’t Armenian, they were Christians who were forced out and into Syria […]

Even with diversity there’s White supremacy

Mike R., Midlothian, VA. My six words reflect the reality that even with the increasing diversity in the U.S. and the increased interactions across racial and ethnic lines, White supremacy still exists. I think many people naively assume that the increasing diversity will solve our racial problems. However, racial segregation still exists, under investment in […]