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  • Writer's pictureSumbella

Learning about Race & Identity (Part 3)

[#learning about #race and #identity] (Part 3) Meet my friend Claire. When I first saw Claire, I wasn’t sure where she may be from… then when I talked to her, I could hear from her accent she was likely from the UK and most likely London, the same as me.

She is someone I have kept in touch with since we met at uni, back when I was studying for my degree in Chinese at #SOAS. Over the years, we have been able to meet up in China, London and Dubai. #grateful

Claire is also mixed heritage, and has been one friend who shares a similar perspective when it comes to navigating matters of identity and belonging.

✨Her father is Scottish, and her mother Chinese.

✨My father is Pashtun, my mother is English.

✨She inherited a little bit of both features.

✨I got a little bit of both features too.

✨Our noses tell all.

✨And also: we both have white skin...

...and that final feature means our experience navigating the world in terms of #race and #privilege has certain things in common. We both find it impossible not to notice and appreciate the details of the ethnicities of everyone around us.

She easily leans into talking about matters of ethnicity, culture and race with me. Maybe it’s because we both had to take the time to situate ourselves and our own identities within our respective mixed ethnic and cultural #roots.

Claire also came to the same conclusion, like me and many others - including Steven Covey - that, in his words: 'a human being is a human being’. It is our individual and shared values, principles and sense of empathy that is fundamental.

This point brings me to the third resource in this 3-part series that I’ve found so helpful when navigating matters pertaining to racism:

Learning Resource #3️⃣📚: The work of #JaneElliott

💡 Key learning:

Her simple mantra - "one race - the human race" - is one I adopted too.

Note: this is not saying race doesn't matter. Race and racism are two different things - I shared some ideas on this in Part 2.

Finally, sometimes #places and #spaces have a way of connecting you up. This is why being part of networks in your communities or at work is so beneficial for wellbeing and a general sense of belonging. At Cambridge University Press & Assessment, we have the #REEBN network, where colleagues can come together to talk through and learn about matters of #race, #ethnicity, #identity and #heritage safely and respectfully. Being a new joiner of this network is partly what motivated me to write and share more about this topic with you, #teachers & #facilitators in our community here on LinkedIn.

#Overtoyou: Do you have a friend like this, with a shared background, who you find it easy to talk to? Have you found any resources particularly helpful when teaching/discussing ethnicity and identity for yourself or in your classes? I'd love to know.

Link to Jane Elliott's work:



Snap 1: Claire & I in 2023,

Snap 2: Claire & I in 2012.

Here's to #friendship!

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