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Racial Equity Knowledge Center

Raising awareness about funding for racial equity efforts.

Let’s Talk About Race: How Racially Explicit Messaging Can Advance Equity

by Jessica Kang

Aug 11, 2015

As we approach a time when there will no longer be any single racial majority in America, we have to ask ourselves hard questions. Are we comfortable with race, and racial dynamics, as our nation's demographics change? Are we ready to embrace one another despite our perceived differences, or will we choose the cynical acceptance of what has become the norm in our country— ongoing segregation, Black voter suppression, economic exploitation, militarized policing, and mass incarceration? Can we counter the race wedge – the process of using race as a tactic to divide people in order to achieve a political outcome? Are we ready to embrace a new vision of shared prosperity? Are we willing to embrace a truly inclusive democracy?


In this report, we explored whether talking about race directly could effectively move people to support progressive fiscal policies. We tested messages that re-frame people of color as contributing, hardworking Americans —"makers" instead of "takers"—with the goal of moving people toward supporting more progressive fiscal policies.