The Other R Word

  • To be able to define diversity and racism.
  • Be able to identify racist words and actions.
  • Understand and be able to explain the impact of racism.
  • Learn skills to speak up against racism.
What is diversity and Why is it important?
  • Diversity means having different kinds of people all around us. It’s like having a big box of crayons with many colors, each one special and unique. People come in different shapes, sizes, colors, and cultures, just like the crayons in the box.
  • Imagine if all the crayons in the world were the same color. It would be boring, right? Well, diversity is like having a rainbow of crayons. It makes our world more interesting and beautiful.
  • When we talk about diversity, we mean that everyone should be treated with respect and kindness, no matter how they look, where they come from, or what they believe. Just like we all have our favorite colors, we all have our own ideas, traditions, and ways of doing things.
  • Diversity is important because it helps us learn from each other. When we meet people who are different from us, we get to see the world through their eyes. We learn about their customs, foods, languages, and stories. It’s like going on an amazing adventure without having to buy a ticket!
  • When we embrace diversity, we make our communities stronger. We become friends with people who are different from us and together we create a colorful and inclusive world. It’s like mixing all the colors in the crayon box to make a beautiful picture that represents all of us.
  • So, let’s celebrate diversity and remember that just like a box of crayons, our differences make the world a more vibrant and wonderful place to live!
What is the Definition of Racism?
  • Racism is when people treat others unfairly or unkindly because of how they are different. It’s important to understand that all people are equal and no one is better than anyone else.
What are the Types of Racism?
  • There are different types of racism. One type is called individual racism. This happens when one person says mean things or does hurtful actions to someone because they are different. For example, if someone makes fun of another person’s skin color or calls them names because they look different, that’s individual racism.
  • Another type is called systemic racism. This is when unfair treatment happens because of the way society is set up. Sometimes, certain races may have fewer opportunities or face discrimination in things like education, jobs, or housing. Systemic racism can be more complicated to understand because it’s not just about individual actions, but about how the whole system treats people differently.
What is the Impact of Racism?
  • Racism can have a big impact on people. It can make them feel sad, angry, or not good enough. It can also affect their self-esteem and make them feel like they don’t belong. Racism can create divisions and make it harder for people to get along with each other.
  • It’s important to stand up against racism and treat everyone with kindness and respect. We should celebrate our differences and learn from each other’s cultures. No one should be treated differently because of their differences. Remember, we are all equal, and we should treat others the way we would like to be treated. Together, we can create a world where everyone feels valued and respected, regardless of their differences.
Some Examples of Racism
  • Verbal abuse and harassment
  • Jokes that make fun of people based on their race, ethnicity, religion
  • Physically hurting people
  • Making fun of people’s names or accents
  • Telling people to “go back to where you came from.”
  • Stereotypes based on someone’s race and/or ethnicity
  • Refusing to work with or be around people because of their race and/or ethnicity
  • Refusing to hire someone or rent to someone because of their race/ethnicity
  • Have you ever seen these things happen?
What are Microaggressions
  • Microaggressions are like tiny, hurtful words or actions that people might say or do without realizing they’re being hurtful. It’s important to remember that they may not mean to be mean, but these little things can still make others feel bad.
  • For example, if someone constantly asks another person about their race or says things like “you’re good at math because you’re Asian,” it can make the person feel like they’re only valued for their race and not their abilities. We should all try to be kind and treat others with respect, so no one feels hurt by these small but hurtful actions.
  • Examples
    • “What are you?”“Where are you really from?”
    •  “You don’t act like a normal (insert race group/culture/ethnicity) person does.”
    • “I don’t see color –I don’t care what you are.”
    • “Why do you sound so white?”
    • “Can I touch your hair?”
    • Calling the police because someone is acting “strange.”
    • A woman clutches her purse as a person of color enters the elevator she is riding.
    • A store clerk follows a person of color around the store.
Listening is Learning
  • Listening is an important skill that can help us learn in many different ways. When we listen, we pay attention to what someone is saying and try to understand it. This is important because when we listen, we can hear new ideas, information, and different perspectives.
  • Listening helps us in our everyday lives. When we listen to our friends and family, we can understand their thoughts and feelings better. This helps us to be good friends and support each other. We can also learn new things by listening to stories, podcasts, or even by watching educational videos.
  • Listening is important because it shows respect for others and their ideas. When we listen, we are giving someone our full attention and showing them that we care about what they have to say. So, whether it’s in the classroom or outside of it, listening helps us learn, understand, and build better relationships with the people around us.
Impact of Racism
  • Violence and physical harm
  • Mental health -Depression, anxiety, loneliness
  • Health problems –chronic stress and anxiety causes a lot of health problems
  • People do not feel safe in their neighborhoods/communities
  • Employment
  • Housing
  • Education
  • Racism can impact the services you or someone else receives
    • Racism harms relationships
How To Be An Ally
  • Listen to someone’s experience and how they are feeling.
  • Validate their feelings
  • Check Yourself: Are you part of the problem?
  • Have you ever said a racist joke or used racist words?
    • Made fun of someone who was different?
    • Treated someone poorly because of the color of their skin?
    • Remained silent when someone was being racist?
  • Speak Up!
    • Sit or stand by the person being targeted
    • “That is not funny.”
    • “That word is hurtful. Please do not say that.”
    • “What is so funny about that?”
    • “We don’t say things like that here. We respect all people.”
    • “That is not okay with me.”
    • “I find that offensive.”
What Is Our Action Plan
  • What is one thing you learned today?
  • What is one thing you will start doing to speak up against racism?
  • In what situation would you speak up?
  • This is hard work! Who is one person you can talk with?
Presentation Slides
Let’s Connect!

The Joint Commission on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Anti-racism+ offers an interactive training for people receiving services, staff, plan authors, and County Boards. The Other “R” Word addresses how racism effects everyone and causes barriers when we connect with the greater community. Our goal is that by the end of the training you will have an increased awareness of racism and be better able to speak up against it.

We’d love to talk with you! Send an email to to plan your training.

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