A group of mostly white university students gathered around a small table in the library. They had just received their group assignments for the project they would be working on this semester. The students quickly dove into conversation. They eagerly explained their ideas, sometimes even speaking over one another. It seemed that everyone thought they had the best idea and was intent on explaining why. But Mei, a Chinese American student in the group, felt shut out of the conversation. She wasn’t able to get a word in amidst all the chatter—and felt that if even if she tried, no one would hear her. The other students were not listening.
It may seem like a simple thing, but listening is one of the most important skills you can develop in your lifetime, and it is essential if you want to do the serious work of racial justice.