“What we do not say, what we do not talk about, allows the status quo to continue.”
-Stephanie Wildman, Making Systems of Privilege Visible
Engaging in frank discussions of race and race-based issues is often a delicate task, requiring participants to recognize their status and privileges (or lack thereof) concerning another in a differently situated group. Many people remain ill-equipped with the skills necessary to navigate these encounters constructively. Discussions about race and racism need to be carefully crafted to resonate with people’s own experiences. Race, white supremacy, sexuality, and other aspects of an intersectional analysis may be perceived as too abstract if they are not presented in a manner to which participants can relate and connect.
Let’s Talk is about obtaining the foundational skills to explore better ways to connect with each other by engaging in deep listening and transformative dialogue about issues that divide us. Participants will learn to “see,” talk about, and be self-reflexive about race and racism, power and privilege, which can be both jarring and liberating.
Often, however, this transformation takes time. Nothing bridges the divide between race and culture like informed dialogue that’s grounded in shared understanding.