A new free-to-use web portal that helps people explore issues of race, racism and racial identity has been created by the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Called Talking About Race, the portal is designed to act as a resource for individuals, families, and communities.

The portal looks at how forces surrounding racial identity shape every aspect of society in the USA, from the economy and politics to the broader culture. It provides digital tools, video instructions, online exercises, scholarly articles and over 100 multi-media resources tailored for educators, parents and caregivers and individuals committed to racial equality.

According to the museum, a string of incidents, "from an altercation in Central Park to acts of police brutality resulting in the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd and the protests they provoked in cities around the country," prompted the museum to move up the release date of Talking About Race.

National Museum of African American History
The portal is free to use, with special tools for educators and parents © Alan Karchmer

“Since opening the museum, the number one question we are asked is how to talk about race, especially with children. We recognize how difficult it is to start that conversation. But in a nation still struggling with the legacies of slavery, Jim Crow laws, and white supremacy, we must have these tough conversations if we have any hope of turning the page and healing. This new portal is a step in that direction,” Spencer Crew, interim director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture said in a statement.

The project is the culmination of extensive research and studies, building on decades of work by the museum’s educators. It includes published research from leading experts, activists, historians, and thought leaders on race, equity, and inclusion, including Brené Brown, Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, Robin DiAngelo, Julie Olsen Edwards, and Bishop Desmond Tutu. 

“The portal offers a wealth of resources to inform and guide discussions - videos, role-playing exercises, targeted questions and more. We hope that people will use this site to become more comfortable about engaging in honest dialogue and self-reflection,” Crew said.

Phase one of the portal features eight foundational subjects including, Being Anti-Racist: a conscious decision to make frequent, consistent, equitable choices daily; Bias: the inclination or prejudice toward or against something or someone; and Historical Foundations of Race: how race, white privilege, and anti-blackness are woven into the very fabric of American society. 

The portal is free and does not require a registration or sign-up to use.

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