What Schools Are Doing to Improve Racial Relations on Campus

By Tonka Dobreva 03.26.2017 interact

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), “tolerance is respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world’s cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human. It is fostered by knowledge, openness, communication, and freedom of thought, conscience and belief. Tolerance is harmony in difference.”

Practicing tolerance for other races and cultures, in school and in society, is extremely important for the peace, wellness and healthy development of our communities and our country. Here’s how some students and organizations are addressing the issue.

Speaking Up for Tolerance 

harvard-toleranceIn 2014, Students at Harvard University started a multi-media campaign called “I, too, am Harvard” highlighting the faces and voices of black students at Harvard College.  Shortly after, minority students at other institutions adopted the campaign, spreading it to universities abroad, to Canada and England.

Photo credit: http://itooamharvard.tumblr.com/

tolerance-2Princeton University launched a campaign of its own called “I, too, am Princeton,” expanding the initiative to include students of different ethnic and religious background and aiming to provide an “opportunity to build a stage on which men and women of color can be included in the atmosphere” on their campus.

Photo credit: http://itooamprinceton.tumblr.com/

In addition, some school administrations are in on the action. The University of Washington, for example, has a comprehensive list of diversity organizations that students can get involved in or seek more information.

Teaching Tolerance 

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks and exposes the activities of hate groups, launched a project called Teaching Tolerance. The project is dedicated to reducing prejudice, improving intergroup relations and supporting equitable school experiences for children. It also provides educators with resources that support diversity, equal opportunity and respect for differences in schools.

School and Classroom Practices 

The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) lists these effective activities to reduce racial and ethnic conflict:

  • Multicultural or ethnic assemblies and special events
  • After-school programs and other opportunities for students to mix
  • Conflict-resolution training
  • Recruitment of diverse staff
  • Teacher-driven professional development on issues of equity
  • Teaming between classrooms, usually a bilingual class with a traditional class

We want to hear from you — are there any activities going on at your school that promote tolerance and diversity? Let us know in the comments section below.




  1. Rylee

    why should you change a mascot because someone said something

  2. Mia

    They should change the mascot. Some people may find ” Red Skins ” offensive.

    • Ashton

      I think that they should keep the name because it is not used maliciously and it would cost a lot of money to change everything to a new mascot.

    • Reice Mae Albright

      My name is Reice and i think you are right Mia i think the should

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