Race Bridge: Can Diverse Connections Drive Cultural Change in Segregated Communities?

How many of your close friends are a different race from you? If you’re like most Americans, not many. The Public Religion Research Institute conducted a study about race and friendship and found that over 75% of White Americans and 65% of Black Americans don’t have a “core social affiliation” of a different race. The researchers found that friendship homogeneity is driven by segregation and other factors limiting access to diverse groups of people.

Join us for a Race Bridge conversation about the impact of segregation on friendship and connections across race. We will be joined by researcher Dominique Samari who explores the relationship between race and friendship through her Belonging Project, which pairs together people of different races. We will talk to 6 participants of the Belonging Project, who experienced deliberate interracial connections as a part of an 8-month experiment.

We will discuss:

  • How segregation limits the natural development of friendship diversity (and why it matters)
  • How extreme homogeny in “core connections” shapes the community and culture of a city
  • How diversifying their core connections changed the lives of those participating in the Belonging Project * Deliberate actions that every Milwaukeean can take to build a more diverse friend groups
  • How “social diversity” positively influences diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace THE


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