–Registration is open for the Summit on Race Matters in Appalachia taking place in Charleston on November 10 and 11, 2014. The two-day conference, presented by several organizations and sponsors, will offer a unique opportunity for people from throughout West Virginia to participate in a constructive, in-depth conversation about the complicated history of race relations and racial inequality in the state. Read PDF of news release.
“The Summit is intended to evoke individual transformation as it relates to matters concerning race,” said Reverend James Patterson, President of the Partnership of African American Churches. “This transformation should lead to organizational and community enlightenment which will ultimately aid all of us in treating each other as fellow human beings.”
The event will include a screening of “Cracking the Codes: Social Determinants of Racial Inequality” on Monday evening, November 10th and workshop discussions about this powerful movie on Tuesday, November 11th. “The film will allow attendees to share their own experiences and allow participants to see race through a new lens of racial understanding,” said Tara Martinez, Executive Director of the WV Women’s Commission.
The event will also feature keynote speakers, including Dr. Gail Christopher, Vice President for Policy and Senior Advisor, W.K. Kellogg Foundation; Mike Wenger, author of My Black Family, My White Privilege, and senior fellow at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, DC; and Dustin Washington, the director of the Community Justice program with the American Friends Service Committee.
“We are very excited to have an all-star line-up of keynote speakers who can share their knowledge on how communities across the country are working toward racial healing,” said Ted Boettner, executive director of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy.
By raising awareness of discrimination and unconscious bias in our state, Summit organizers hope to take an important step toward building a movement where children of every race and ethnicity can have a meaningful opportunity to thrive in West Virginia. “We hope participants will walk away with a broader understanding of the structural racism that is in our educational, political, criminal justice, and financial systems,” said Lida Shepherd, program director for the Appalachian Center for Equality Youth Leadership of the American Friends Service Committee. “The inequities that result are holding us back as a state.
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