The Western New York 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge Day 4

Day 4: Talking About Race

How often have you been in social settings where the majority of individuals have been of a different race or ethnicity? How often does a conversation about race turn a room silent, or create divisions among friends, family, and colleagues? Why does this happen? Many people think that talking about race is “taboo” or have been taught to avoid the topic all together. Others may shy away due to lack of experience or ability to articulate their feelings on the topic. Whatever the reason, taking this Challenge may help to build the skills to participate in conversations about race to help move our community forward. 


First, ask yourself if you are comfortable engaging in a conversation about race with those who are the same race as you. Now, how about a conversation about race with someone who is a different race? Either situation may feel uncomfortable, especially if you haven’t been exposed to this type of dialogue or are not sure how to start. Maybe you’re worried about “saying the wrong thing”, causing harm, or creating a rift in a relationship. If this is you, you’re not alone. Today’s challenge offers helpful tips and supportive examples to improve conversations about race.


64% of Black adults said that their family talked to them about challenges related to race while they were growing up (32% said that this conversation happened often). 90% of white adults said that their families rarely had these types of conversations. 
Source: Pew Research Center.


  1. Watch "Intergroup Anxiety: Can You Try Too Hard to Be Fair?" (5 minutes)
  2. Read "Beyond the training: How to host meaningful DE&I conversations at your company" (6 minutes)
  3. Watch Ted Talk "Is My Skin Brown Because I Drank Chocolate Milk" by Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum (12 minutes)


DAY 5: Levels of Racism


Back to Day 3

Back to Pre-Challenge