At CCEJ, we believe that opportunities to address injustice exist at every moment in our daily lives.  Everyone can build skills to challenge racism, prejudice and discrimination.  The first step towards transformation begins with dialogue.

1.  Be brave:  it may not feel comfortable to start a conversation about what’s been going on in current events, but it’s necssary if we want to help our communities become more inclusive of all people.

2.  Get grounded:  notice your physical reaction – is your heart beating?  Are you feeling fired up?  Take some breaths and ground yourself before you speak.

3. Seek to understand:  ask questions and listen before you share your point of view.  “Tell me more about how you came to think that…”, “Help me understand what you meant by that…”

4.  Reflect to Connect:  Show empathy by rephrasing what you’ve heard: “I hear that you feel…” “I can see that from your perspective you think…”

5. Share a story:  offer an alternate point of view by speaking authentically from your personal experience. “I remember a time when I…”; “I often think about how the history of.…has impacted what we see today.”

6. Describe impact:  Share the feelings that you or others have when they hear the comment. “When you say… about [this group of people], it makes me feel…”; “An unintended outcome of that idea could be…”

7.  Build a relationship: share appreciation for the conversation and express a wish to stay connected.  Personal relationships are key to promoting true understanding across difference.

8.  Find allies:  you are not alone in wanting to make the world more just and equitable.  Connect with others in your community to gain support and take action.

If you want to invite CCEJ to facilitate a dialogue for your workplace, school or community group, please email Daniel Solis, Associate Executive Director (dsolis@cacej.org) or call 562-435-8184 x110.

Additional resources:

Anti-Defamation League’s Kitchen Table Talks Guide

Anti-racism resources for White People

Non-Black People of Color Need to Start Having Conversations About the Anti-Blackness in our Communities

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