Race and Ethnicity
Understanding Race and Ethnicity
Both race, which describes physical characteristics, and ethnicity, which encompasses cultural traditions such as language and religion, play pivotal and socially significant roles in our lives. These aspects of our identity inform how we see ourselves and the world, how others see us, and how we relate to each other. As immigrants help create a more diverse United States, communities built around racial and ethnic identity can be a source of resilience and connectedness for those who might otherwise feel isolated or alienated.
Although many people embrace racial and ethnic diversity, developing tolerance and respect for human differences, minority communities in America still often suffer from inequality, injustice and exclusion at the hands of the mainstream majority. The adverse personal, political and economic implications of this discrimination and marginalization can include societal rejection, fewer job and educational opportunities, poor medical care, and unfair treatment by authorities.