posted January 29, 2002

Hope to Host Ottawa Area Summit on Racism

Hope College will host the second annual Ottawa Area Summit on Racism on Tuesday, Feb. 12.

The all-day summit, sponsored by the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance (LEDA), will begin at 8 a.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel, and will continue until 4 p.m.

The campus community is invited. Admission is $20, including lunch.

The first summit, held last February, brought together 650 participants to consider significant issues related to racial diversity in the community and to develop strategies for improving race relations. This year's summit will focus on developing additional strategies, with sessions covering education, business, community, faith, government, health care and the media.

The event's afternoon keynote speaker will be Ray Suarez of "The News Hour," formerly host of NPR's "Talk of the Nation." Other speakers during the day will include Hunter Genia of the Saginaw Chippewa; State Rep. Paul DeWeese of Williamston, who is a Republican legislator and 1977 Hope graduate who has championed the cause of racial equality; Karen Henry, an Arab American journalist from Grand Rapids; a Christian drama group from Ohio; and Les Lim, a Michigan State University student who grew up in Holland.

There will also be a resource fair and book signing at the Maas Center during the lunch hour.

Welcoming remarks will be made by President James Bultman. Closing remarks will be presented by Alfredo Gonzales, associate provost at Hope, and by Gail Harrison, who is the summit coordinator and executive director of LEDA.

The summit marks the second year in a five-year initiative dedicated to fostering racial inclusion in the Ottawa County area. In addition to sponsorship by LEDA, the event includes collaboration by groups including Latin Americans United for Progress (LAUP), the Alliance for Cultural and Ethnic Harmony, and COBB Community Outreach Center, all of Holland.

Registration forms for the summit may be obtained by calling (616) 846-9074 or from the web site www.ethnicdiversity.org.