Talking Circles:


& white supremacy  


The Multicultural Resource Center’s Real Talk Circles bring together participants for participants to engage in diverse, in-depth activities (dialogue, popular education activities) that dismantle systemic racism, build strategies for resistance and alternatives, and promote healing practices for racial trauma.

Redesigned Talking Circles

The redesigned Talking Circles incorporate feedback generated from a multi-year study assessing the Talking Circle's impact on previous participants as well as feedback from participant focus groups in 2015.  The new Circles include an emphasis on systemic racism, intersectionality, and racial identity development and uses a range of new experiential tools alongside the Circle’s core feature of small group dialogue.  Attendance at the entirety of the two day session is required, as discussions and content builds on itself over the course of two days.

Registration is on a first come first serve basis. If registration for a session is full, you will need to register again for a future session. Talking Circles are now provided on a sliding scale basis. Opportunity for scholarships are available.  MRC is a small, grassroots non-profit and long term sustainability for our programs, campaigns and services depends on contributions from community for the skills, development, and education trainings we provide. Additionally, MRC now has a sliding scale for organizations interested in sponsoring staff member(s) to attend public Talking Circles.

If you have questions about the Talking Circles, please email To receive regular announcements about upcoming Talking Circles and other MRC programs, you can sign up for the MRC newsletter here.


The MRC started the Talking Circles in 2007 to address long-standing community tensions around race; the Circles were envisioned as way to engage people in open and honest dialogue with each other in a safe space and to begin the process of healing old racial wounds. MRC has held Circles for over 900 participants, and the program continues to grow exponentially to this day!

The Talking Circles serve a diverse range of people with different racial identities from urban, suburban and rural environments. Past participants include: Staff and faculty in the Ithaca City School District; Cornell University and Ithaca College college students and staff; local politicians at the city and county level; New Roots Charter School; City of Ithaca staff, including the Ithaca Police Department; and prison workers, social workers, youth workers and community members of all ages, races and economic backgrounds.

For some participants, this program is the first time they spoke candidly on issues of race. Other groups have taken action, such as a group of Cornell students who compiled a list of campus diversity issues to give to campus administration. Other individuals have formed alliances and are working together on anti-racism projects throughout the community. All past participants are invited to join our discussion list serve. One notable result of the Talking Circles is that the United Against Hate campaign grew out of a discussion on the list serve.


Timeline of Racism in the US - A living document created by the staff at MRC noting key dates in US history that have contributed to the formation of white supremacy and are the foundation of systemic racism in the US.

Levels of Racism - Created by the MRC for the Talking Circles program, this document breaks down the levels at which racism is present in our society.

Racial Identity Development - Created by Beverly Daniel Tatum, explores the stages at which individuals experience their own racial consciousness.

For more learning, see our Resource Hub.

The “ISH” Comic Series: 

What’s ISH?: There’s no words to describe …ISH! So,  Enjoy the journey!!!  
When: Starts April 1st, 2018ish
Where: Everywhere!
Why: Why not?
Who: C.Knightly, Santa Clause, and Itana

...ISH #1 Inspired by: Metal Spikes On Trees

ISH will also plan to hold "Chill and Chat at MRC" to have dialogue around ISH themes and other justice issues to deepen our learning. STAY TUNED! 

Questions or Comments?