REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK | Talking about race


Would you sit down and talk about race in a mixed group? Have you ever done so? Do you think such groups offer a way to break down prejudices?  Or are they just a way to let people feel better, without addressing racism in society?  

Talking about race is a tough assignment, but one that hundreds of people in the Twin Cities voluntarily tackle each year. The YWCA recently held its eighth annual “It’s Time to Talk: Forums on Race” gathering. The St. Paul Foundation offers free facilitation and training for its “Conversations About Race and Racism.” ISAIAH trained facilitators to conduct 75 house meetings this fall, focusing on conversations about racial equity. Lila Kelly, a diversity trainer, has been hosting a free monthly diversity discussion group in St. Paul for nine years.

I’m writing an article about organized conversations about race and racism, and I’d like to include stories and insights from facilitators and participants, and from a wide range of experiences. If you have a story or insight to share, contact me at