Activity time: 65 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Newsprint - one sheet for each of four tables
- Color markers and crayons
- Handout 1, Definitions of Racism
- Leader Resource 1, Discussion Cafe Instructions
- Sticky dots or other means of identifying participants in a color group
Preparation for Activity
- Follow the set-up instructions in Leader Resource 1.
- Copy Handout 1 for all participants.
Description of Activity
Explain that you will be using a Discussion Cafe to allow participants to grapple with what racism is and how it works and to share personal stories about their experience with racist structures. Invite the group to participate in the Discussion Cafe process, following the instructions in Leader Resource 1. Monitor time during the activity and warn participants five minutes before the end of each round. Allow 55 minutes total for this part of the activity (including time for moving from one table to the next).
Invite participants to remain at their last table and turn their attention to the large group. Lead a discussion, using these questions as guides:
- What did you learn about how racism works?
- How is racism different for people who identify as White or of European ancestry than for People of Color and other people marginalized by race or ethnicity?
- How is the "system" of racism the same/different from the "system" of privilege?
Including All Participants
Be especially aware of participants with mobility and hearing issues when you set up the Discussion Cafe. Keep tables far enough apart to minimize noise distractions and to allow ample aisles for those changing tables. If you have a participant who cannot easily move from one table to the next, invite them to be the host and to remain at a single table.