We are committed to creating communities where everyone belongs, where we build and/or strengthen healthy relationships with diverse people. Yet, we may have unconscious worries about building connections with people who are racially different. Racial anxiety is the stress before or during a cross-racial interaction, leading to discomfort, awkward behavior, or even avoidance. Racial anxiety results in a cognitive depletion for BIPOC community members with the burden of navigating others’ anxieties. White community members worry about how they may be perceived, which undermines relationships with BIPOC community members and their engagement in equity work. To build and maintain the authentic, multiracial community we seek, we must recognize the profound impact of racial anxiety, and engage strategies to mitigate it.
Through research and storytelling, this session will support BIPOC participants to contextualize their lived experiences and gain strategies of self-care, and white participants to gain awareness of impact and strategies for overcoming racial anxiety.
Presenters: Sandra (Chap) Chapman, Ed. D. and Jess MacFarlane
Thursday, June 2