Author and educator Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D., president emerita of Spelman College, recently returned to Stanford for a visit sponsored by Residential Education and the Community Centers. During her talks, there were several references to an essay Tatum wrote reflecting on her time as the 2017 Haas Distinguished Visitor.
In the essay, she describes Stanford as a place that is "both hungry for and hesitant about" discussions of race.
"In the polarized political climate in which we currently live, it is not surprising that there is anxiety about engaging in potentially difficult conversations. Yet we need to create environments where such conversations can take place if we want to prepare the next generation of leaders," she wrote.
Currently, students in the residence halls are indeed having conversations about race. During Winter Break, and in preparation for Tatum's visit, many students read the 20th anniversary edition of her book, Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?
The essay provides additional material for those discussion. It is available at this link.