Race is one way humans classify one another. Yet, views of how humans are classified differ between person-to-person and even country-to-country. The debate of "what race is" has important - and dangerous - implications across society and between individuals.
Race is a biological reality
Humans are different from each other - physically, culturally, linguistically, psychologically. Proponents of race as a biological reality view differences as anchored in genetic differences at a group level. Racial groups have key characteristics that make them unique and different from others.
Physiological features categorize people into races
Outward appearance and ancestry - which are biological and unchangeable - define a person's race.
Race is self-identified, self-determined, and subject to change
Race is a part of one's identity that only the individual has the full potential to discover, expand, and determine. As people transition through different phases of life, understand aspects of their culture, and develop new meanings of race, they can also identify their race differently.
Race is a social reality with biological consequences
Social realities can influence one's environment, which in turn has biological effects.
A person's environment is influenced by social and cultural circumstances
Racial inequalities in health are not because of innate biological differences. Racial groups tend to live in different environments, and environmental factors determine the health disparities between races.