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Hope to Host Ottawa Area Summit on Racism

Posted January 14, 2003

HOLLAND -- Hope College will host the third annual Ottawa Area Summit on Racism on Tuesday, Feb. 11.

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 $25, including lunch.

The summit will bring together several hundred participants in considering significant issues related to racial diversity in the community. Activities will include a morning keynote address, action team sessions focused on specific strategy areas, learning workshops on a variety of topics, and an afternoon theatrical presentation.

The keynote speaker will be Dr. John F. Dovidio, who is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Psychology at Colgate University, where he is also provost and dean of the faculty. His research interests are in stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination; social power and nonverbal communication; and altruism and helping. He has published more than 100 books, articles and chapters on the topics. He shared the 1985 and 1998 Gordon Allport Intergroup Relations Prize with Samuel L. Gaertner for their work on aversive racism and ways to reduce bias, and the 2000 Prize with Kerry Kawakami for their research on reducing spontaneous stereotyping.

The 13 action teams are addressing seven strategy areas: business, community, education, faith community, government, health care and media. The summit will include reports on accomplishments during 2002 and planning for 2003.

The interactive learning workshops will engage participants in presentations and dialogue on four race relations topics: "Understanding Racism," "Exploring Racism and Poverty," "The Power to Heal or Divide: The Influence of Media in Race Relations" and "Understanding the Arab World."

KMR Diversity Theatre will present "The Usual Things" as the afternoon's theatrical performance. KMR Diversity Theatre is a method to bring awareness training to the work environment and help employees exercise respect and sensitivity in everyday situations. "The Usual Things," written by Mike Smolinski, is about a loan officer's realization of his prejudices and stereotypical thinking by reliving a typical day in his life through a conversation with a psychiatrist.

Following registration from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., welcoming remarks will be made by Hope College President James Bultman. Closing remarks will be presented by Alfredo Gonzales, who is associate provost at Hope, and by Gail Harrison, who is the summit coordinator and executive director of LEDA.

The summit marks the third 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 Latin Americans United for Progress, Core City, and The Alliance for Cultural and Ethnic Harmony.

Registration forms for the summit may be obtained by calling (616) 846-9074 or from the organization's website.

The organizers have requested that those interested in participating register by Tuesday, Feb. 4.

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