1. What is your background (race, ethnicity, gender, socio-economic class, religion, etc.)?  What is one thing that is good about growing up with these social identities?  What is difficult about growing up with these social identities?

  2. What is the earliest time in your life that you can remember being aware that there were people in the world whose skin was a different color than yours?  What do you remember about it?  What thoughts and feelings to you have about that memory and what happened then?

  3. What are your memories of friendships with a person of another race?  When you were very young? More recently?

  4. What attitudes and behaviors around racial differences and/or racism were expressed in your family when you were growing up?

  5. What experiences have you had in trying to make friends with people of other races?

  6. What feels awkward or difficult about initiating contact with people you don't know who are of a race different from yours?

  7. Talk about how much you care about other people, including people of other races.

  8. How do you think (or fear) other people of your own race view you for being close to people of other races or for being committed to dismantling racism?

  9. Where do you feel you belong, and where do you feel unwelcome, with various racial groups?

  10. How does your class, religion, or gender affect how comfortable you feel with people of other races?

  11. Where do you feel superior to (some) members of a race different from your own?

  12. Where do you feel inferior to (some) members of a race different from your own?

  13. How does seeing racism or knowing about how racism affects people's lives make you feel?

  14. If you are white, how do you feel about giving up the privileged status (and its material benefits) that racism has bestowed on you?

  15. If you are white, how do you feel about other whites?  Their apathy?  Their racism?  Their efforts against racism?

  16. How has racism separated you from people you would like to be able to be close to?

  17. What guilt feelings, if any, do you have around racial issues?

  18. Describe times you have interrupted racism or taken some action against it (no matter how trifling or insignificant it may feel).

  19. What feels difficult for you about interrupting racism?

  20. What feelings of discouragement, hopelessness or powerlessness do you have about dismantling racism? 

  21. Describe a big, bold step that would be important in dismantling racism?  What small steps could you take that would move toward that bigger step?

  22. What scares you about being really close to a person of a race different from your own? 

  23. Where do fears of violence or of other people's anger come up for you around racial issues?

  24. What could you do where you work or go to school to take initiative against racism?

  25. Describe your vision for the world.

  26. Where do you think adults have been successful in eliminating racism and where do you think they haven't been successful?

How to Begin Listening Exchanges for Ending Racism                                                                    


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