One of the most striking findings from our work is that there are many
Americans who are willing to accept that racial prejudice, privilege, and
disparities are major problems confronting our Nation. Many of them told
us that they would welcome concrete advice about what they should do. To
fill that need, we offer a brief list of actions that individual
Americans could take that would increase the momentum that will make us
One America in the 21st century:
(1) Make a commitment to become informed about people from
other races and cultures. Read a book, see a movie,
watch a play, or attend a cultural event that will inform you
and your family about the history and current lives of a group
different than your own.
(2) If it is not your inclination to think about race, commit
at least one day each month to thinking about how issues of
racial prejudice and privilege might be affecting each person you come in
contact with that day. The more that people think about how issues of
race affect each person, the easier it will be for Americans to talk
honestly about race and eliminate racial divisions and disparities.
(3) In your life, make a conscious effort to get to know
people of other races. Also, if your religious community
is more racially isolated than your local area, encourage it to form
faith partnerships with racially different faith groups.
(4) Make a point to raise your concerns about comments or
actions that appear prejudicial, even if you are not the
targets of these actions. When people say or do things that are clearly
racially biased, speak out against them, even if you are not the target.
When people do things that you think might be influenced by prejudice,
raise your concerns that the person or institution seriously consider the
role that racial bias might play, even unconsciously.
(5) Initiate a constructive dialogue on race within your
workplace, school, neighborhood, or religious community. The One America
Dialogue Guide provides some useful ideas about how to construct a
dialogue and lists some organizations that conduct dialogues and can help
(6) Support institutions that promote racial inclusion.
Watch television programs and movies that offer racially
diverse casts that reflect the real world instead of those perpetuating
an inaccurately segregated view of America. Support companies and
nonprofit organizations that demonstrate a commitment to racial inclusion
in personnel and subcontracting. Write the institutions to let them know
of your support for what they are doing.
(7) Participate in a community project to reduce racial
disparities in opportunity and well-being. These projects can
also be good ways of getting to know people from other backgrounds.
(8) Insist that institutions that teach us about our
community accurately reflect the diversity of our Nation.
Encourage our schools to provide festivals and celebrations that
authentically celebrate the history, literature, and cultural
contributions of the diverse groups that comprise the United States.
Insist that our children's schools textbooks, curricula, and libraries
provide a full understanding of the contributions of different racial
groups and an accurate description of our historic and ongoing struggle
for racial inclusion. Insist that our news sources--whether print,
television, or radio--include racially diverse opinions, story ideas,
analysis, and experts. Support ethnic studies programs in our colleges
and universities so that people are educated and that critical dialogue
about race is stimulated.
(9) Visit other areas of the city, region, or country that
allow you to experience parts of other cultures, beyond their
food. If you have an attitude that all people have histories, cultures,
and contributions about which you could benefit from learning, it is
usually not difficult to find someone who enjoys exposing others to their
(10) Advocate that groups you can influence (whether you work
as a volunteer or employee) examine how they can increase
their commitment to reducing racial disparities, lessening
discrimination, and improving race relations. Whether we are a member of
a small community group or an executive of a large corporation, virtually
everyone can attempt to influence a group to join the national effort to
build One America.