Four prominent African American leaders, two men and two women from 3 different generations, share their stories of growing up black in America.   What attitudes, mindsets, and efforts were required to be effective and successful in this country as a person of color?  Though I, a white male, have invested in relationships with people of color, this conversation opened new windows of understanding into the experience of my black brothers and sisters…

Code switching

Navigating two worlds

“The talk” about police

Working 10 times harder to get half as far


We closed with a dialogue on how to have effective conversations on race.  Here are some tools and resources mentioned on the podcast to equip you:

Glenn Singleton’s four agreements for courageous conversations about race:

  1. Stay engaged:  Staying engaged means “remaining morally, emotionally, intellectually, and socially involved in the dialogue” (p.59)
  2. Experience discomfort:  This norm acknowledges that discomfort is inevitable, especially, in dialogue about race, and that participants make a commitment to bring issues into the open.  It is not talking about these issues that create divisiveness.  The divisiveness already exists in the society and in our schools.  It is through dialogue, even when uncomfortable, the healing and change begin.
  3. Speak your truth:  This means being open about thoughts and feelings and not just saying what you think others want to hear.
  4. Expect and accept nonclosure:  This agreement asks participants to “hang out in uncertainty” and not rush to quick solutions, especially in relation to racial understanding, which requires ongoing dialogue (pp.58-65).


Adapted from Glenn E. Singleton & Curtis Linton, Courageous about Race:  A Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools. 2006. pp.58-65. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.


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