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Toolkit

Our Coming Together Toolkit provides short activities and resources to help explore the concept of race and how it impacts our lives. Use them together or indivdiually.

Download the toolkit

Learn more how our toolkit can faciliate discussions of identity and race.

Videos

  • Barack Obama: “A More Perfect Union”, speech, 2008

    Arguably one of his most important speeches of the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama’s speech, “A More Perfect Union” (also known as “The Race Speech”), offered a nuanced meditation on race in America.

  • Thandie Newton: "Embracing otherness, embracing myself" TEDTalk, 2011

    Actress Thandie Newton discusses how acting has helped her to embrace “otherness.”

  • Spencer Wells: "A family tree for humanity", TEDTalk, 2007

    Geneticist Spencer Walls, director of the Geographic Project, shares some of the insights from his research that reveal just how deeply connected we all are.

  • Jamila Lyiscott: "3 ways to speak English", TEDTalk, 2014

    In this short but powerful TED Talk, linguist Jamila Lyiscott poetically breaks down just what it means to be “articulate.”

  • Mellody Hobson: "Color blind or color brave?", TEDTalk, 2014

    Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments, discusses why having a frank, open dialogue about race not only makes good business sense, but good common sense.

  • "Comedian finds humor and substance in talking about race", 2014

    Indian-American comedian Hari Kondabolu infuses his comedy with a strong sense of racial consciousness. In this interview with PBS NewsHour he discusses how his comedy and approach to the complexities of race has evolved.

Readings

[Participants, some carrying American flags, marching in the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965] (LOC)

“The Long Road to Montgomery”, Susan Van Dusen

I was literally cramming my mouth full of pre-exam elixir — fig newtons and hard boiled eggs — when Hannah knocked at the dorm room door. The task of memorizing rock strata for Earth Science was mind-numbing, so I was delighted to take a break. Hannah and I had known each other in high school, and both of us had been accepted at Washington University in St. Louis.

‘There’s a big civil rights march sponsored by the St. Louis Conference on Religion and Race next weekend,‘ she announced. ‘I want to go, but my sorority sisters aren’t interested. Would you like to come?‘ she asked.

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More readings

"A Letter to My Nephew", James Baldwin

In the guise of a 1962 letter to his then 14-year old nephew and namesake, renowned author James Baldwin’s essay is a blistering critique of race relations 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

The Next America, Pew Research Center

The nonpartisan Pew Research Center‘s survey, The Next America offers a fascinating look at how the intricate racial tapestry of the United States is changing “by the more than 40 million immigrants who have arrived since 1965.”

“White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”, Peggy McIntosh

In this popular 1988 essay, author Peggy McIntosh “unpacks” some of the many ways whites are unaware of, or simply don’t acknowledge, the scope and power of their privilege.

“Letter from Birmingham Jail”, Martin Luther King

Perhaps the most famous document to come out of the Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King’s Letter From A Birmingham Jail eloquently and forcefully explains why he could no longer wait for justice and freedom in the face of unjust laws.

“Black Like Them”, Malcolm Gladwell

In this thought-provoking essay, author Malcolm Gladwell explores how racism mutates into what he calls “multicultural racism, where one ethnic group can be played off against another.”

No-Man's-Land, Eula Biss

In this sprawling but lucid essay, author Eula Biss explores the legacy of segregation, fear of the other, gentrification and some of the more troubling “pioneer” prejudices found in the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

For teachers & educators

Seeking Educational Equity & Diversity

The National SEED Project on Inclusive Curriculum engages school teachers, college faculty, parents, and community leaders to create gender fair, multiculturally equitable, socioeconomically aware, and globally informed education.

Teachers for Social Justice

Teachers for Social Justice (TSJ), made up of educators, administrators and universities in the Chicago area, works toward building classrooms and schools that are anti-racist, multicultural / multilingual, and grounded in the experiences of our students.

World Trust

World Trust produces diversity videos and workshops that deepen the conversation about race.

Niles Township High School District 219 Racial Equity Resources

A collection of racial equity resources for students, educators and parents.

Teaching Tolerance

Founded in 1991 by the

Southern Poverty Law Center, Teaching Tolerance seeks to reduce prejudice, improve intergroup relations, and support equitable school experiences by providing free educational materials to teachers and other school practitioners in the U.S. and Canada.

Arlington School Cultural Competence

This manual, written by the Council for Cultural Competence at Arlington Public Schools (VA), provides training activities and readings, tools for responding to racism and privilege, and models of responsive teaching practices.