We began convening online conversations on race and racism specifically for White people, in June of 2020 after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. We were inspired by online conversations on racism hosted by Michelle Lang-Raymond of Acts on Stage. Currently we provide conversations as a "passion project" without affiliation to a larger organization, but we are seeking to turn this into a more long-term and sustainable effort.
Founder & Facilitator
Laura Keir is a White woman living in Eugene, Oregon. She grew up in another very White place- New Hampshire. Early in her college career she had her first real introduction to issues of race, when she participated in a facilitated dialogue that brought people of many races together specifically to discuss race. For 15 years since then, Laura has enjoyed learning about race in different ways, and she has been both a participant and facilitator of conversations on various topics. Laura holds a bachelor's degree in conservation ecology from Sterling College in Craftsbury, Vermont and a master's degree in natural resources from the University of Vermont in Burlington. She has worked professionally as a planner for a regional planning agency, and as a communications/outreach specialist for various organizations.
"I am not an 'expert' on race or racism, and I am still uncovering my own biases and learning every day about racism. Growing up in New Hampshire exposed me to very few people of color and instilled in me a sense that White is normal and Black is 'other.' Even though my family and the Unitarian Universalist church taught me values of equality and the dignity of all people, I was still raised in a society that privileges Whiteness - so of course I couldn't escape developing biases and stereotypes within myself. I don't remember as a child talking specifically about race or racism, which taught me inadvertently that race should not be noticed, pointed out, or talked about. I think many White children have this experience, and we grow up to be adults who are extremely uncomfortable talking about race."