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How to Talk About Race

A free five-week learning circle curriculum developed by Amrita Patel and Denise LaForce

How to Talk about Race is a free 5-week course designed to help you moderate discussions about race. Though this material can be used by anyone, we designed it specifically to equip library employees with the skills to run effective and considerate book discussions, learning circles, group conversations, and other programs about race in their communities. In gaining a deeper understanding of moderating conversations relating to race, participants will learn how to:

  • Use and understand the purpose of an Identity Wheel
  • Explore implicit bias & microaggressions
  • Understand systemic racism, the concept of “lived experiences” and how to frame conversations
  • Facilitate discussions about race and establish ground rules for a group discussion
  • Navigate everyday scenarios relating to race

In order to talk about race, it is imperative to understand larger issues of race. As such, this course will also ask participants to reflect on:

  • The extent to which race impacts your daily life and your interactions within the systems that surround us
  • How implicit bias impacts our own perceptions of race
  • How microaggressions inform the ways that we frame things the way that we do

How do I use this course?

This course is free to access and use however you see fit. However, the learning materials are structured to be run as a learning circle: a facilitated study group for people who want to meet regularly and learn about a topic with others. Facilitators should review each week’s content before each meeting, but they need not be content experts in order to facilitate: the videos, articles, and discussion prompts in this course are featured to encourage dialogue and open up opportunities to have more in-depth conversations about race and racism. For quick and easy access, all the links from this course are featured on this link tree, listed in chronological order of need for the course.

How do I create a learning circle?

You can create a learning circle on the P2PU website and use this P2PU facilitator guide to help structure your meetings. You do not have to run the course exactly as outlined: our content is a guideline for your own venture into the forays of facilitating conversations about race. This material is more effective when it can connect personally to learners, so we encourage you to customize the content based on your local area’s history, your personal intentions for running this program, and the learning goals of your attendees.

What happens when I complete this course?

Our content is designed to be an introduction to social justice advocacy. We hope that you continue to educate yourself, explore new materials and content relating to racial equity & inclusion, spread the word with others and have the confidence to start taking a stand whenever you see injustices happening in the world. The final module features steps you can take to catalyze change, because becoming a social justice advocate takes effort and intention.