Race Talk

The Race Talk initiative is a monthly book group discussion that focuses on the sensitive and often emotional subject of race and racial bias. This initiative gets its name from the book "Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race" by noted psychologist Derald Wing Sue, Professor of Counseling Psychology at Columbia University. This group explores discussions about race, including why these topics are especially uncomfortable and difficult to talk about for White people as well as people of color.

Graduate students Lorelei Curtin, Kailani Acosta, Carly Peltier

Graduate students Lorelei Curtin, Kailani Acosta, and Carly Peltier started this initiative. The first meeting explored why it is so difficult to talk about race, and the following points were discussed:

Some defining characteristics of Race Talk:

-Emotional, difficult

-Comes up in an apparently unrelated conversation

-Involves a clash between two opposing views/narratives (white talk vs. back talk)

-Often initiated after microaggressions

-Necessary to overcome racism and create inclusion

-Often deeply personal and anecdotal

-Sometimes backfires and can reinforce racism

-Often avoided


Book Group Meetings

Discussions on Race Talk, by Derald Wing Sue: July 12, 2019 and August 16, 2019

Discussion on Home, by Toni Morrison: October 23, 2019


Stay tuned for the next discussion and updates on this initiative. Upcoming books include: White Fragility (Robin DiAngelo), So You Want to Talk About Race (Ijeoma Oluo) and others


Books on race