Visual Art by Carly Strohmaier

The Mourning the Creation of Racial Categories Project

Mourning is one of the most profound human experiences that it is possible to have… The deep capacity to weep… is one of our noblest human traits.
— Edwin Schniedman

    The Mourning the Creation of Racial Categories (MCRC) Project is dedicated to using the transformative powers of the arts to tell the stories of how people in the United States were divided into racial categories. Most people do not know how the categories we so routinely check such as Asian, Black and White were created. The MCRC Project makes the case that the methods by which people were divided and the ways in which the categories were filled with peoples are things to be mourned.

MCRC artists make choreography, music, sculpture, visual art, dramatic reenactments, poetry and other artistic expressions that allow audiences to explore the unresolved emotions upon which this division of peoples was forged. Once we hear (take in) these stories and acknowledge the emotions we are ready for a new language to talk about race.  MCRC provides us with this new language—a language that transforms thinking about, and response to, today’s racial divisions and tensions. The new language opens our eyes to the wounds and weight of centuries that people in each racial category carry around in different ways today.

MCRC shares these stories, its vision and new language in documentaries and in interactive workshop formats.

Contact Us



Deposits of unfinished grief reside in more American hearts than I ever imagined. Until these pockets are opened and their contents aired openly, they block unimagined amounts of human growth and potential. 
— Robert Kavanaugh