Narrative Change

The word narrative means story. Most of us have learned “stories” about people of different races, which form our biases. What we think we know about race comes from a variety of places: our parents, friends, teachers, books, museums, movies, television and social media. The stories have helped solidify a racial hierarchy: the widespread belief that some people are superior or inferior based on their racial or ethnic identity.

The legacy of racism in the United States is multifaceted. It touches every community across all backgrounds and cultures, albeit in unique ways. The history presented here is by no means exhaustive, rather it represents several turning points that created the present realities faced by all people living in the U.S. today.

Explore Inspiring Stories of Racial Healing

  • An Ojibwe and Dakota language immersion pre-school restores cultural connections across the generations in one of the largest urban Native communities in the country.
  • The Teaching Well supports and strengthens educators through racial healing affinity groups.
  • The Healing Power of Remembering. On the National Day of Racial Healing 2019, Black residents of Selma, Alabama visited the Equal Justice Initiative museum and memorial in Montgomery to engage with true stories about their community’s past and honor local lynching victims.
  • The Pop Culture Collaborative works to bring diverse stories to screens, both big and small, as well as visions of Black Futures that center freedom and thriving.

Take Action Today

3 Simple Ways to Support Narrative Change:

  • Checking out a book is now a revolutionary act. Head to your local library and find one of these 20 books about diversity to read with young people in your life.
  • See our action kit for Engaging Children for more ideas to help young people form healthy views of race and identity.
  • Engage in personal storytelling with neighbors, friends and relatives using our Conversation Guide and the Conocimiento practice. Conocimiento means knowledge and wisdom, to be conscious and to become aware. It is a practice that builds community and deepens relationships through group discussions and personal growth.