PNW Racial Reconciliation Resources

pnw-logo-squarePNW Racial Reconciliation Resources

In August of 2016 the PNW Racial Righteousness Cohort presented at our Annual Youth Worker Retreat.  The topic was “Talking with Teens about Race.”  It was a fantastic time of learning and growth.  Below are some resources that were shared at the retreat along with additional resources compiled since then.  This list will grow through time.

Guidelines and Framework for Conversation:

  • There is inherent worth and value in all people.
  • We are talking about people, not “politics.”
  • Listen for and identify the real emotions behind the words.
  • Stereotypes and generalizations can be barriers to progress.
  • The conversation is only as valuable as our willingness to push through the tension and ask, “tell me more.”
  • Keep the conversation going throughout the weekend and back home.
  • If someone shares an idea or question that helps your own learning, say “thank you.”
  • Put-downs are never okay.
  • Listen to understand what someone else is saying before rushing to judgment.
  • Make comments using “I” statements.
  • If you don’t understand something, ask a question.
  • Share the talking time—provide room for others to speak.
  • If someone says something that hurts or offends you, do not attack the person. Acknowledge that the comment—not
  • the person—hurt your feelings and explain why.

Teaching Activities:

The purpose of this object lesson is to create engagement with your audience while addressing various topics for your discussion. Facilitators are able to customize their focus based on the chosen teaching points, but generally, this activity helps to create safe space to address issues of personal rejection and larger societal issues of race, bullying and stereotypes.  [Click Here] for instructions.

Fish Bowl:
Fish bowl is an activity in which a small number engage with a difficult topic, either through a guided discussion or through role playing, while the rest of the group watches and takes mental notes. After the activity the entire group process things they heard and noticed.
Example: Set-up a role playing situation in which a new student with an accent walks into a lunch room at a high school. The new student looks for a place to sit but her classmates don’t let her sit. They keep asking questions like, “Why does she talk like that? Why does her food smell so bad? Why doesn’t she just act ‘American’?” After 3-5 minutes take a break to process the interaction with the large group. Ask questions like, “How do you think the new girl felt? Have you ever felt out of place? What was it like? Why do we tend to exclude people who are different? As Christians, how should we act when we observe other students excluding people?”
Jelly Bean Activity:
This activity is purposed to teach students about any sort of privilege (race, gender, ability, education, class, etc.). Each student is given a small cup containing jelly beans (or other small things like M&M’s, dry beans, or marshmallows). The key is to make sure they all don’t have the same number. Give some kids 2-3, others 6-7, and still others 10-12. They most go around the room and challenge other people to a game of “Rock-Paper-Scissors.” Whoever wins the round gets a jelly bean. Once a player runs out he/she must follow the final person who beat them and cheer for them. By the end there will be two large groups cheering against one another. To expedite the game increase the number they lose if they don’t win the round. For example, after 5 minutes of game play you can say, “Winners get 4 jelly beans now!”
After the activity talk about what the experience like. Was it fair that they didn’t start with the same amount of jelly beans? How long did the people who only started with 2-3 beans last? What about the people who started with 10-12? Launch into a conversation about privilege. While America may feel like the land of opportunity y, we all have different types and numbers of obstacles we must overcome to succeed.



1. Roadmap to Reconciliation by Brenda Salter McNeal
2. Disunity in Christ by Christena Cleveland
4. Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman



  • [Click Here] to download a Glossary of Terms.
  • [Click Here] to see and download the 1995 ECC Resolution on Racial Reconciliation.