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Last Update: 09-Oct-2005 10:27:03 am


Facing the Challenge of Racism and Race Relations: The Busy Citizen's Guide, 3rd Edition



Topfield Foundation







Study Circles Resource Center, PO Box 203, Pomfret, CT 06258





This Discussion Guide is based on the idea that issues of racism and race relations are critical in our country and in our communities. Today a growing number of people are recognizing the importance of public dialogue as a critical step in making progress on those issues. This discussion guide is designed to help participants engage in the kind of dialogue about racism and race relations that can make a difference in their community. It employees the methodology of study circles - small-group, democratic, participatory discussions - where people have the chance to get to know one another, consider different points of view, explore disagreements, and discover common ground. In communities where study circles are ongoing and widespread, they are a way for people to work together democratically to actively address the issues they are facing. In these community-wide study circle programs, in every region of the country, study circle organizers are showing the power of combining dialogue and action. As a result of sustained, interracial, democratic dialogue, thousands of people from all races and ethnicities are working together to make strides on some of the toughest race-related issues we face - bias crime, community-police relations, race relations among young people, diversity issues, connecting citizens to governance, and more. This third edition of the Discussion Guide incorporates many of the learnings from those programs. The final session of this guide - "How can we move from words to action in our community?" - demonstrates the kinds of actions that are coming out of study circles. This is a powerful testimony to what people can do when they have the opportunity to come together for democratic dialogue and action on questions of race. The Discussion Guide contains materials for 5 sessions: Session 1, Race relations and racism: Experiences, perceptions, and beliefs; Session 2, Dealing with race: What is the nature of the problem?; Session 3, What should we do to make progress on race relations?; Session 4, What kinds of public policies will help us deal with race relations?; and Session 5, How can we move ftom words to action in our community? It concludes with a chapter on using the Guide that has tips for study circle participants, an overview of study circles, and setting ground rules for the discussion.




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