The Race Issue - Keep Learning

April 13, 2018

An Evening with Angela Davis

“Look in unexpected places for insights about the problems of our world,” said activist Angela Davis in an address to Gonzaga students last fall. Sponsored by the Center for Public Humanities, the lecture is available here.

Improving Cultural Competency

In both Sustained Dialogues for faculty and staff as well as Intergroup Dialogues for students, participants meet for 10-week sessions of facilitated conversation on race, gender, economics, ability and age, as well as the intersectionality of those identities. These follow a well-regarded model from the University of Michigan and help members of the Gonzaga community understand their own personal predispositions as well as the experiences of others.

Other Efforts in Diversity

Read about the post-doctoral teaching fellowship program (a partnership between GU and the University of Washington) and the beginning of a race and ethnic studies academic program.

  • Recommended Reading
  • “Between the World and Me” – Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • “Just Mercy” – Bryan Stevenson
  • “The New Jim Crow” – Michelle Alexander
  • “My Beloved World” – Sonia Sotomayor
  • “Long Walk to Freedom” – Nelson Mandela
  • “White Like Me” – Tim Wise


Find these – and more related materials – at


Talking about Race – Advice from Shanterra McBride (’09), Author, Speaker, Life Coach

DO: Realize that race is something people of color think about every single day, whether we want to or not.

DON’T: Use the “n” word even if your favorite hip-hop artist uses it. That applies to your children as well.

DO: Understand that it’s not that I don’t think white lives matter. I want white lives to believe black lives matter, too.

DON’T: Cheer for a person of color when we play for your favorite team but not when we live in your neighborhood.

DO: Look at your friends, your place of worship, your neighborhood. Are you surrounded by people who look like you? Change that.

DON’T: Wear someone else’s culture as a costume.

DO: Watch This Is Us and other similar shows.

DON’T: Touch my hair or ask to touch my hair.

DO: Ask questions when you don’t understand.

DON’T: Ask people of color what you can do to help their community. The question takes ownership off you and puts it on the person you are asking.

DO: Search Google for how to be an ally for people of color.

DON’T: Think people of color believe all white people are racist. (The only white people I think are racist are white people who do racist things.)

DO: Speak up when you hear someone say racist things, do racist things, act like a racist.

DO: Visit museums that represent other cultures. They are great places for reflection (and amazing food).


Speak Out

What are your thoughts on the work Gonzaga is doing on diversity and inclusion? Email


Next Up in Our Social Justice Series

  • Immigrants, Refugees and Dreamers
  • Gender: Working toward equality, LGBTQ+ concerns, the #MeToo movement and more

Have a related experience to share? Email

  • Diversity & Inclusion