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Month 1

Personal Racial Identity

Month 1 Challenge

How do you think about your racial identity and its relevance to your work/volunteerism/studies? Identity matters. Who we think we are and who others think we are can have an influence on all aspects of our lives. Think about the first time you became aware of your racial identity. What comes up for you?

Please choose two or more of the below activities to complete:


Watch an interview of author/educator, Tim Wise, conducted by Dr. J. Q. Adams at Western Illinois University. In this interview, Wise discusses colorblindness, white flight and its impact on student populations, the role of school principals in strengthening the learning of all students, Affirmative Action and white preferences, and the opportunities college offers students who are open to deepening their understanding of their own identities while learning about the cultural identities of others.



Reference this document to view how people of color develop their racial identity.



Read/listen to this interview with Shardé Smith, assistant professor of human development and family studies at the University of Illinois, on how to speak to children about race and racism.



Watch one or more of the short videos and reflections from the New York Times on racial identity in America.



Journal about your own racial identity. You might consider:

  • When did you first become aware of your racial identity?
  • What messages did you learn about race from your school and family? Did they align with what you’ve seen in your life?
  • Think of a time when the way others perceived your racial identity affected how they treated you?

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