How can we build our capacity to talk about race?

According to Shelly Tochluk, people just beginning to pay attention to race generally arrive to this conversation well-intentioned, but without knowing how racially-loaded their language is. People of color, on the other hand, often arrive rather worn-out from years of frustration and with a more developed understanding of racial dynamics.

As race issues continue to shape our national discourse, Shelly explores how we can heal from our racial history and live up to the ideal of “justice for all”, and offers four simple approaches to help us engage more productively. An educator, with a background in psychology, Shelly Tochluk, Ph.D, trains teachers to work with Los Angeles’ diverse school population as Chair of the Education Department at Mount Saint Mary’s University–Los Angeles. She is the author of two books: Witnessing Whiteness: The Need to Talk About Race and How to Do It; and Living in the Tension: The Quest for a Spiritualized Racial Justice.

Shelly invites readers to take a deep look into their own lives in order to answer the question, how does spirituality go hand in hand with racial justice? Where do disconnections exist? This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at