In the melting pot of the United States, the issue of race can be a delicate and tangled one. Historically, the discussion of race relations has primarily involved whites and blacks. But as American demographics change, the cultural landscape is quickly getting more colorful. Hispanics will soon become the largest minority group in the United States. According to PublicAgenda.com, Caucasian Americans will only account for 54 percent of the population by 2050.
With these shifting demographics, the need for understanding between the many races and countless cultures of this country is more important than ever. Surf these sites and online forums to learn more about race relations in the United States and how you can help bridge the gap between people of different backgrounds.
Featured as a "starting point" in the New York Times' Selective Guide to Race-Related sites, this site is a fantastic place to begin building bridges between cultures. YForum addresses the sensitive issue of race in a bold yet honest manner that promotes meaningful dialogue. Here's how it works: Got a question about a culture different than your own? Post it on the bulletin board and someone from that background will answer. Of course, there are guidelines and rules as to appropriate online conduct, but the end result is an effective way to discuss race without offending anyone or feeling embarrassed to ask.
Western Justice Center
This site offers an entire database of more than 1,500 organizations that work to resolve conflict and eradicate racism. Find interactive message boards, links to nonprofit organizations, dialogue manuals and other online resources for cross-cultural collaboration. The Center also provides a free e-mail bulletin on news and trends in conflict resolution.
If the discussion of race gets too philosophical for you, try this site. JustFacts.com breaks down this complicated issue into hard data. Find over 2000 facts related to slavery, income differences between races, violence, crime, discrimination, politics, affirmative action and education.
Often when we talk about race, it's assumed that we're talking about black and white. AsianWhite.org takes a unique look at race relations between whites and Asians and attempts to bridge East and West. Among other things, the site takes a look at why the Asian Female/White Male couple is so common; offers dating tips to Asian men; and explores media stereotypes of Asian men and women.
A site with an informal, "online community" feel, Suite101.com promotes discussion between visitors through a message board, news articles and suggested links.
The Multiracial Activist
A complete online resource to links, listservs, newsgroups, online forums, clubs and discussion lists that address multiracial and multicultural identity. From interracial Catholics to Bay Area biracials, this site will connect you to other bi- and multiracial individuals.
Network of Alliances: Bridging Race and Ethnicity
An extensive network, NABRE connects national and community-based organizations "focused on building a more racially and ethnically just and inclusive society through communication, interaction and collaboration." Search the NABRE database to connect to such associations or explore the site and discover racial-healing activities. NABRE's suggestions include faith-based activities, higher education, intercultural community building, adult-education and training, economic and community development and youth-oriented activities.
Looking for information for a research paper or article? With a click of the mouse, this site will link you to hundreds of books, articles, recordings, interviews, suggested readings and essays that deal with race, ethnicity and multiculturalism. You'll find entire PowerPoint presentations, Internet resources and recordings of National Public Radio's "Talk of the Nation." In addition, check out the discussion forum for debates on race-related topics, as well as issues of ethics.
Teaching To Make A Difference
This tool for teachers takes race and culture discussion into the schools. Presented in eight different languages, this site is provided by the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam and aims to educate people about issues such as intolerance, the Holocaust, human rights, diversity and multiculturalism. You'll find curriculum for classroom use, including a timeline tracing the history of human rights and a glossary of terms.