Partners for a Racism-free Community offers free program Thursday

prfcDeconstructing Institutional Bias
4 – 5 p.m. Thursday, November 17
At Heart of West Michigan United Way
118 Commerce Ave SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States

 

On Thursday, November 17 from 4:00pm-5:00pm, Partners for a Racism-Free Community will open up its Building Block program Deconstructing Institutional Bias to the community at large free of charge. For more information on this event please contact Breannah Alexander at balexander@prfc-gr.org.

In addition, they released the following statement:

A Statement from Partners for a Racism-Free Community on recent news:

Last week members of our team were at Race Forward’s Facing Race conference in Atlanta, GA with 2,000 other individuals working to address racial disparity across the United States and, in some cases, globally. The attendees carried with them the weight of a saddening and damaging presidential election cycle and grappled with the meaning of the results. At Partners for a Racism-Free Community we cannot ignore the significance of the campaign rhetoric and the problematic nature of a space in which relentless hate speech yielded such an outcome.

This is what we know: right now, in this moment, we have to make a series of decisions that all impact how we shape our communities and our children moving forward. We know that there is a woeful need for continued education on race. We know that there are places and spaces that not only create uncomfortable realities for people of color in our communities, but dangerous ones as well. What we must first learn to do, however, is listen. In this moment, we must give room for healing and respect that, for some, a safety pin is still not indicative of a safe space. We must address the privilege that leads us to erase the feelings and pain of those around us as we ask our fellow communities members to unify in ways that silence their oppression.

As we navigate this moment we must remember to center the voices of those at risk. A lesson that has undoubtedly been reinforced this election cycle is that we must also be clear about how our ally-ship affects others. Are we listening to those we are supporting? Does our rhetoric translate into the kind of daily actions that address racism as it’s happening in our families, places of worship and communities at large? Are we having the conversation with all of our young people and what are we saying? We cannot sustain the practice of dispersing the burden of understanding to historically disenfranchised groups only.

Today, our team asks you to think about your commitment to addressing racism, creating inclusive spaces and navigating what it means to hold yourself and those around you accountable for their actions. In our profession, witnessing is crucial in doing this work and last Tuesday there was a failure to witness. This moment mirrors other pivotal historical moments globally – the recognition of strife that saves lives and the failure to witness that destroys them.

Our organization will continue to support this community as it works to better understand the kind of environment it wants to cultivate. We will continue to educate. We will continue to elevate the voices of the oppressed. We will continue to create spaces for dialogue. And we will work harder to activate community members who desire to engage further in this work and be the resource that you need for moments like these.

On Thursday, November 17 from 4:00pm-5:00pm, Partners for a Racism-Free Community will open up its Building Block program Deconstructing Institutional Bias to the community at large for free of charge. For more information on this event please contact Breannah Alexander at balexander@prfc-gr.org.

For more information on Partners for a Racism-Free Community, please visit our website at www.prfc-gr.org.

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