Guidelines for Conversations on Race & Culture


These are the simple guidelines that we use during our discussion groups. They help us to have difficult conversations.

1. Respect confidentiality


2. Avoid making judgments


3. Be curious NOT furious

  • “Name it”    

  • It's okay to say, “ouch"/“oops”


4. Hold on to multiple realities.


5. Use both/and instead of “but”


6. Be aware of intent vs. impact


7. Stay the course.


  • No one is the only expert, or the expert in everything

  • We are all learning


Be willing to “try things on”

Racism is a sensitive word. Americans often avoid mentioning it, even when it is relevant…

It is a sensitive word because it exposes so much, institutionally and personally. It is a Rorschach word, a linguistic inkblot test. 

How you define it reveals something important about you, how you see the world and your place in it. (Marable Manning, professor, University of Colorado)