‘Facing Everyday Racism’ at the 15th Annual Conversation on Race

by The Village Green
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The following is from the South Orange/Maplewood Coalition on Race:

Prof. Michael Jeffries

This year’s Conversation on Race: Facing Everyday Racism forum will have community members talking and learning about the unconscious, small ways racism creeps into our daily exchanges and responses. South Orange/Maplewood residents and neighbors from high school age through seniors are invited to participate in this free event on Wednesday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m. at Congregation Beth El, 222 Irvington Ave., South Orange, NJ.

Professor Michael Jeffries, a graduate of Columbia High School, professor of American Studies at Wellesley, and author on race issues, will begin the discussion. Participants will learn about the concept of microaggressions–a term used to describe the unconscious and unintentional expressions of bias toward people who differ in race and culture. Participants will break into small, mixed-race groups to groups to share their own experiences, questions, and points of view

“Talking about race is a key strategy to building a successful, racially-integrated community, according to Executive Director Nancy Gagnier. “Our goal is to examine these biases from multiple perspectives, to understand them better, and to consider solutions for overcoming individual biases.”

Professor Jeffries will also be working with Columbia High School students earlier in the day. Students will have a chance to have their own conversation about facing everyday racism.

Conversations on Race is annual event sponsored by the South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race that sparks much-needed discussion about race-related issues in our community and across the nation. These forums provide residents with opportunities to engage in honest dialogue between racial groups, to challenge misperceptions at their root, and develop ways to improve interactions.

For more information about this event and about the Community Coalition on Race, please visit their website at www.twotowns.org.

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