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Understanding Race After Charlottesville Kick-Starts Campaign About Race

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September 20, 2017

The Understanding Race After Charlottesville initiative kick-started an ongoing campaign to combat misperceptions about race and racism. The campaign is a collaborative undertaking with the American Historical Association, the American Sociological Association, and the Society for Applied Anthropology.  

A number of university groups (including Wheaton College, SUNY Oneonta, Grand Valley State University, Marquette University, the University of Memphis, and the University of Cincinnati) organized “teach-in” style events to engage directly with their students on the topic of race. Additionally, we have now collected more than a dozen syllabi and activities related to teaching about race in AAA’s Teaching Materials Exchange and have produced an introductory lesson plan that will be useful to teachers at all levels in the months to come.

Online the event received a great deal of attention and #UnderstandingRace produced a fascinating discussion. More than 300 people engaged with the event on Facebook and AAA’s Facebook posts related to the initiative had a combined total reach of more than 46,000. On Twitter, participating groups shared images, individuals shared resources, and many engaged with posts from AAA and our partners at AHA and ASA. In total, #UnderstandingRace reached nearly 625,000 Twitter accounts and tweets from more than 200 individuals combined to secure approximately 2.9 million Twitter impressions. The initiative also drove traffic to the AAA blog, which has now received almost 5,000 page views in the month of September. The Understanding Race After Charlottesville landing page on americananthro.org has been visited by more than 3,100 unique visitors since it was launched only three weeks ago and the understandingrace.org website saw an 83 percent increase in unique visitors compared to the previous month.

Overall, this event has launched a wonderful discussion and has allowed us to collect a set of resources that we will be able to provide for our members and other anthropologists looking to engage with the topic of race during the present school year and beyond.

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