More students of color enroll in U.S. colleges today than in previous decades due to changing demographics and rising aspirations. However, racist incidents on college campuses, persistent achievement gaps, and lack of faculty of color indicate there are race-related problems in higher education.
Research shows that conversations on race increase cultural competency, promote empathy, reduce prejudice, improve relations among conflict group members, and develop critical awareness of privilege and oppression. Yet, educational leaders rarely engage in racial conversations to affect systems change.
This paper examines the growing body of literature on the use of race conversations in schools and colleges. Additionally, it considers how race conversations might be aligned with systems thinking for dismantling structural racism within the higher education system.
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