New Toolkit Wants to Make Talking About Race Easier

By N. Jamiyla Chisholm Mar 05, 2020

For many, talking about race in any setting can feel fraught. To help make the conversation easier in classrooms and at the office, Stanford University introduced a new, free, racial literacy digital toolkit on March 4 called RaceWorks

“America’s demographics are changing rapidly. This change is being deeply felt on multiple levels. Yet, effective conversations on race continue to elude us,” MarYam Hamedani, RaceWorks project director and SPARQ managing director, told Colorlines. “There are many biases, misconceptions, and misunderstandings—from the classroom to the workplace—that lead to friction and divisiveness. Education is key to developing a stronger sense of racial literacy, especially considering our social climate today.”

The toolkit consists of a series of videos, educational activities and evidence-based frameworks that allow for better understanding across learning abilities. It was produced by diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) scholars at Stanford’s Center for Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity (CCSRE), and Stanford SPARQ, an organization that works to reduce social inequities with insights from behavioral science. 

With the help of the toolkit, researchers are hoping that individuals will feel better equipped to discuss race in a way that can foster understanding and dialogue.

“Historically, the U.S. has long grappled with the legacy of racism, deeply impacting the national dialogue on topics from job discrimination and immigration to the presidential election,” said Daniel Murray, executive director at CCSRE. “We can only begin to confront racism and drive action in support of real change when people have the vocabulary and tools needed to engage and make better decisions. If we’re going to change how we talk about race, we need easy access to resources and tools that will help reshape how people think about race in the first place."

To learn more about RaceWorks and how best to use it, visit here, or watch one of the many videos from the site.