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Facing Racism in a Diverse Nation

The 58-page discussion guide, Facing Racism in a Diverse Nation was originally published in 1992 from Everyday Democracy and has been used in thousands of dialogue-to-change programs. Below is an excerpt and link to the 2008 revised edition, which is available in both English and Spanish. This six-session discussion guide helps all kinds of people take part in meaningful dialogue to examine gaps among racial and ethnic groups and create institutional and  policy change, and includes a supplementary guide for affinity-group dialogue.

The guide is endorsed by a wide range of public figures including Bill Bradley, Jack Kemp, Spellman College President Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, John Lewis, and many others.

Below is an excerpt from the guide, which can be downloaded in full from Everyday Democracy’s site here. The guide is available in Spanish here.

FacingRacism-coverFrom the guide…

Racism affects every community and every person’s quality of life. It shows up in inequities between groups and in tensions among people form different ethnic backgrounds. In order to have healthy communities and a strong country, we need to face racism head-on. In a democracy, there must be ways for everyone to have a voice in finding the solutions and in carrying them out.

When it comes to facing issues of racism, this is a moment of transition in our country. This moment offers new challenges. It also provides new opportunities to make things better. One sign of change happened after hurricanes devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005. There was an important shift in our national conversation. More people began to talk about the ways that racism can show up – not just in individual attitudes, but in institutions, in public policies, and in the culture. More people began to pay attention to gaps among racial and ethnic groups in key areas – education, housing, health care, the justice system, and job opportunities. Though everyone does not agree about the nature of racism in our country, people of all back groups and political views see that it is a serious challenge.

Another sign of change is that communities across the United States are becoming more and more diverse. Many communities are looking for better ways to manage the changes. They want to create places where all people can thrive. More and more people see that racism is not just an issues for “blacks” and “whites”. It affects all of us – African Americans, Europeans Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Lations, Arab Americans, those of mixed backgrounds, and those who just describe themselves as “American”.

Read the full guide on Everyday Democracy’s site here.

About Everyday Democracy
Everyday Democracy
Everyday Democracy (formerly called the Study Circles Resource Center) is a project of The Paul J. Aicher Foundation, a private operating foundation dedicated to strengthening deliberative democracy and improving the quality of public life in the United States. Since our founding in 1989, we’ve worked with hundreds of communities across the United States on issues such as: racial equity, poverty reduction and economic development, education reform, early childhood development and building strong neighborhoods. We work with national, regional and state organizations in order to leverage our resources and to expand the reach and impact of civic engagement processes and tools.

Follow on Twitter: @EvDem

Resource Link: www.everyday-democracy.org/resources/facing-racism-diverse-nation

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