Challenges and Opportunities of Talking About Race at This Moment in History

January 11, 2017

John Noltner takes portraits at "The Moment is Now" national conveningWe are living in a moment in history where listening and having honest discussions with each other is more important than ever.

We all have the power to make change, and we all have a voice that needs to be heard. To help share our wisdom, we invited photographer John Noltner to join us at our national convening in December.

Since 2012, award-winning Minnesota photographer John Noltner has driven more than 40,000 miles across the United States asking people the simple question, “What does peace mean to you?” and taking their portrait. In an increasingly polarized world, A Peace of My Mind explores the common humanity that connects us.

At our convening, John set up a portable studio, took portraits of attendees, and combined them with their response to the question: “What is the unique opportunity or challenge of talking about race at this moment in history?”

We received 81 responses, and will post a new response daily on Facebook and Twitter.

Here are a few highlights:

The challenge is people are dishonest. This is an opportunity to be honest.













Our "isms" are now undeniable. To identify our oppressors will take courage beyond our current understanding. We have work to do. Bring it on.













Talk of registering Muslims is similiar to what led to the incarceration of my parents and other Japanese Americans during WWII.













If not now, then when? If not here, then where? If not me, then who? We cannot allow this opportunity to pass us by.













We need to help white people see that white supremacy steals their humanity too, and to invite them to join us in the struggle to dismantle it.













We have to find the courage to make connections at the very moment we might want to despair.













Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to see a new message posted daily.

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Dialogue to Change

Our ultimate goal is to create positive community change that includes everyone, and our tools, advice, and resources foster that kind of change. Whether you’re grappling with a divisive community issue, or simply want to include residents’ voices in city government, Everyday Democracy's Dialogue to Change process, using a racial equity lens, can help.