The Talking About Race web portal debuted this week to equip individuals and communities with the “tools and guidance to empower your journey and inspire conversation” about race. The web portal is a project of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, and is designed to help people explore issues of race, racism, and racial identity.
In a press release announcing the launch of the portal, Interim Director Spencer Crew stated that “[s]ince opening the museum, the number one question we are asked is how to talk about race, especially with children.” According to Crew, Talking About Race aims to increase people’s comfort in engaging in difficult dialogues so that we may move towards healing.
Talking About Race not only encourages personal reflection regarding individual experiences around race, it also offers guidance for discussing these topics with others, and educates people about eight foundational Topics including: Being Anti-Racist, Bias, Community Building, Historical Foundations of Race, Race and Racial Identity, Self-Care, Social Identities and Systems of Oppression, and Whiteness. The Audiences page provides further direction for customizing conversations for educators, parents or caregivers, and other persons committed to equity. The portal’s Resources page features a curated collection of videos, documents, and links to other web pages for teaching about race. The collection can be searched or filtered by topic, audience, or resource type.
Talking About Race draws upon the work of both the museum’s educators as well as leading figures in our society, including Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, Brené Brown, Ibram X. Kendi, Enid Lee, Audre Lorde, Peter Block, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, to name a few.