Talking about Race in Orange County - Undoing Racism training

I am midway through a two-day workshop called 'Undoing Racism', which is being held at and co-sponsored by the United Church of Chapel Hill. We have over 35 people attending the workshop including UNC grad students, staff, researchers, and community partners, a handful of Justice United members, a teacher from the Chapel Hill-Carrboro School District, staff from Active Living By Design, and parishioners and clergy from the UCCH and it's sister church, Fisher Memorial (a Black church in Durham).

This workshop is providing a lot of food for thought about how racism was constructed and is perpetuated. Seems to me this might be a really good opportunity to get some much needed community discussisons about race started.

Below (More Information) is a link for more information on the workshop. 

What do you think? Would you attend? Should community groups, such as Justice United and/or Justice In Action co-sponsor something like this? Is it even needed? 


For February 18th and 19th - this is a Friday and Saturday. There is some more information about the workshop below. We are not immune from the effects of racism in Orange County. We see the effects in our schools and in recent incidents....I found the workshop incredibly enlightening. It presented challenging ideas, but was not confrontational.  It allowed a safe place for discussion and that, at least, is a start. "Race is an important indicator in social outcomes.  When most factors that are cited as the reasons for the achievement gap are corrected for, such as level of income, parental involvement, insurance,educational level of parents and others, race remains the predictor of success or failure.The training curriculums and programs are experienced as a highly effective method for imparting an understanding of systemic and institutional racism to participants in an effort to equip them with the resources and knowledge to make sustained  change in their work and lives.   The intensive curriculum and discussions equip participants with a sophisticated understanding o f the institutions, systems, practices, and cultural representations that produce racial disparities and link class with race."

Thanks for bringing this discussion to OP.  I just wanted to add a quote I thought appropriate to the topic of justice and dismantling institutionalized injustice.

Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought. A theory however elegant and economical must be rejected or revised if it is untrue; likewise laws and institutions no matter how efficient and well-arranged must be reformed or abolished if they are unjust. - Rawls

at the United Church of Chapel Hill this weekend. Again, we had nearly 40 people - both Black and White.  A number of people came for a second time including from the research center at UNC, where I work. A Chapel Hill-Carrboro School District principal and a teacher were there. Chatham County sent at least 5 staff. A man who works for Chatham County animal control  sat next to me and said that when he took the job recently he was told he would be required to attend such a training.Another training is being planned for July to give people time to get it on their calendars, but with enough interest we could schedule another sooner. Should the Towns of Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Hillsborough, and the County send staff to such a training? Require it even? What about UNC administration?What do you think is a barrier to getting people to attend such a workshop? There's no doubt we need to talk about race.

From experiences I've had with similar training over the years, I think folks attending need to understand that they will be in a safe place to explore what, for them, may be a new way of looking at the world. That needs to be part of the advertising prior to attending and those who do attend need to feel it was worthwhile. Attendees need to go into the community saying positive things about their experiences. The attendees need to feel they were respected and not talked down to.


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