Racial justice conference Saturday at GCC

Thursday, May 18, 2017

GREENFIELD — The “Walking the Talk for Racial Justice Youth Conference,” co-sponsored by The Academy at Charlemont and Greenfield Community College, takes place Saturday, May 20, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Dining Commons at Greenfield Community College.

Registration is still open. “With a keynote speaker and multiple panel discussions scheduled for the morning and afternoon, this day-long conference promises spirited conversation and greater awareness of issues and actions,” states a press release.

The keynote speaker is Anika Nailah, cultural liberationist, spoken word artist, and the founder and former director of Books Of Hope, a Boston-based, youth literacy program,

“Many members of the western Massachusetts community pride themselves on living in a place that represents social cohesion and progressive ideals,” says a press release from the academy’s Social Justice Council, the organizing group. “How frequently are white community members checking their assumptions about the ideals of western Mass. against the real lived experiences of their neighbors of color? It is vital that white citizens of this area actively do the work to actually bring this equitable vision to fruition, and that we begin to do so by grappling with our racism and its impact on the very lives of our neighbors of color.”

Breakout sessions will explore issues of concern including (but not limited to): mass incarceration/prison industrial complex; Indigenous Peoples issues; white privilege/implicit bias; Islamophobia and systemic racism.

Visit The Academy’s website to learn more and to register. Or telephone Nora Bates Zale, council adviser, at 413-339-4912. There is no fee, but donations will be gratefully accepted.