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Adult Learner > Strategies > Discussing Race

Discussing Race


Discussions about race can range from celebrating the importance of diversity to understanding the impact of racism from the perspective of those who have been historically marginalized. Educators should regularly practice using discussion norms that support active listening and respecting differences during class discussions and academic debates. This supports Social Awareness and Relationship Skills and builds a foundation for courageous conversations. It is important not to single out learners, ask them to speak on behalf of culturally and historically marginalized groups, or force them to share if they are not ready. Establishing nonverbal signals allows participants to communicate their readiness to speak or level of discomfort with the conversation. Creating affinity groups, or subgroups of students and/or educators structured around a particular identity (e.g., culture, gender, race), can help educators and organizations understand issues that may affect different social groups and take action to initiate greater inclusivity.

Use It In Your Learning Environment

Educators should work to create a community learning environment that encourages open communication and establishes rapport wi