Friday, February 11, 2011

Defining Race: Part 1

Recently, I was able to share my transracial adoption experience at an independent school's diversity conference.  This school set aside a full day for workshops: everything from movie screenings, discussions about race, religion, gender, and culture to...knitting. Truly, it was a day to celebrate this school community's talents and diversity in the true sense of the word.

The first session went well - the junior high students, high school students and adult participants were engaged and laughed at my jokes, which is always a plus. The second session of my workshop was much more intimate with fewer participants, perhaps because it also overlapped with the first lunch sitting.  The students were polite, listening to my story and raising their hands when I called for it.  But then my friend posed an interesting question to the group, "Jenny, you keep referring to your 'race' and your 'ethnicity' throughout your sharing. So I'd like to ask, how do you define race?"

 I was glad that she asked the question and brought it to the consciousness of the high school participants, one of whom nodded as if to say, "Yes, please tell us how YOU define it."

And so, for Part 1, I'd like to pose the question to you, my readers: How do you define race?
(Hint: it's not as easy as you may think)

I'll give you my answer in Part Two...


Anonymous said...

That's such a complicated question. I'm sure you'll get a lot different answers. I don't event know how to begin.

JBH said...

@shannon2818: Agreed!I've already received some answers via email. I'm glad that itisa complicated question that provokes thought:-)