Mission: To inform conversation about racism, racial identity, and the ways in which race has shaped every aspect of American society, from the economy and politics to the broader culture.
Background: An initiative of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Talking About Race online portal builds on decades of work by Smithsonian educators, researchers, and curators and includes published material from leading historians, thought leaders, and activists engaged in race, equity, and inclusion work. The launch of the site was accelerated after a rash of racially charged incidents — from a young white woman threatening to call the police on an African-American birder in Central Park after he asked her to put her dog on a leash, to the vigilante killing of Ahmed Aubrey as he was jogging, to the police killings of Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and George Floyd — resulted in peaceful mass protests around the country and the world. With the site, NMAAHC aims to help individuals and communities engage in constructive discussions around one of the nation's most damaging legacies: racism and its corrosive impacts.
Outstanding Web Features: The site is organized into eight foundational categories: Being Anti-Racist (the conscious decision to make frequent, consistent, equitable choices daily); Bias (a tendency, inclination, or prejudice toward or against something or someone); Community Building (connecting and engaging with others doing anti-racism work); Historical Foundations of Race (how race, white privilege, and anti-blackness are woven into the very fabric of American society); Race and Racial Identity (how societies use race to establish and justify systems of power, privilege, disenfranchisement, and oppression) Self-Care (caring for one's mental, emotional, and physical health while engaged in the work of dismantling racism); Social Identities and Systems of Oppression (systems built around the ideology that some groups are superior to others); and Whiteness (an ideology that reinforces power at the expense of others). Research on these topics has been contributed by the likes of Brené Brown, Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, Robin DiAngelo, Julie Olsen Edwards, Ibram X Kendi, Audre Lorde, Bishop Desmond Tutu, and Tim Wise. The site also provides information for different audiences with the aim of helping them start a dialogue around the issues of race and race relations, as well as additional resources filtered by topic, audience, history, and type.