I spent the rest of the week considering the awkward shifts Raye and I had experienced. Studies say we’re all born racist. We’re programmed to fear “the other”. Which is ugly. But the good news is that neuroscience shows our brains fight this inherent prejudice when it arises (the amygdala, responsible for self-control, fires up following a prejudiced thought) and that we can actually rewire our brains to be inclusive and compassionate in the face of “the other”. Indeed it’s what our brains desire! The “intergroup-contact hypotheses”, a theory guiding much racism research, says contact with the other and a shared goal can rewire things. This happened with Raye. She lived with Sudanese families, uniting with them to stay alive. Ergo, a shift.