Essence's Tanisha A. Sykes applies lessons from her transfer to a predominantly white high school to grown-up concerns about fitting in on the job.
… I subsequently carried that into the workplace, and my best advice for “relaxing” around people from other races is to attend the after-work meet ups, join the diversity groups other than the Black ones, recruit a mentor of a different race and join organizations that actually interest you.
Bottom line: Get to know who they are as a person. Kids? Hobbies? Sports? Develop these relationships organically. Don't ever try to fabricate something that's not there because it will make you look silly in front of your colleagues. In order to really work it to your advantage on the job, become a standout — do something in the company that no one else is doing that adds value. Trust me, if you are delivering the goods in a way that no one else is, then they will come to you. It’s not about your ingratiating yourself to anyone. Gain their trust, loyalty and respect and they will come running.
Read Tanisha A. Sykes' entire piece at Essence.