Why do we ask for your racial and/or ethnic identity?
One of the core challenges in racial equity education is to normalize and socialize personal and organizational comfort around race as a construct. Race impacts us all. This notion is often challenging and difficult for people who have been racialized as white, as many often view race as something that is only relevant to Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color.
By creating a norm where all people can explicitly acknowledge their relationship to race as a construct, we seek to do the following:
- Raise the implicit to the explicit
- Make power dynamics less charged and more widely acknowledged
- Regularly invite all individuals, not just Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color, to own and examine their own positional relationship to that power dynamic
Lastly, the practice supports people of color to be part of affinity-based groups to express themselves without the potential burden of others misunderstanding their experiences.
We recognize that while asking participants to share this information may create discomfort, it is also a critical anti-racist practice.