Of all of our personal identities, race can be the most confusing because of its complexity and history. Skin color, background, and cultural identity informs the judgments we make about other people, intentional or not. This is how racism comes to life: when our judgments reflect a belief that race accounts for differences in character or ability and, especially, that a particular race is superior to another.
But racial identity is fluid and ever-changing; as are the ways that people and governments use these differences to exclude or prefer different groups.
Despite our best efforts, it is impossible to not assign meaning to a race given the ways societies have valued (or devalued) different races over the past several centuries. For something that feels as complicated as racism, what can you do as a peacemaker? Start by acknowledging your own moments of judgement. What assumptions do you make about other groups of people? What assumptions do people make about you? Learn more about white privilege and other ways people experience racism. Pay attention to how other people treat each other. Ask questions about how it makes people feel. Bringing people together to have conversations about race can be extremely powerful, and sometimes transformational, for everyone involved.