‘Identity in America’ Series Continues with Discussion of Racial Inequality


MACON – Mercer University will continue its “Identity in America” series with a discussion of “The Color Barrier: Opening the Conversation on Inequality in America,” Feb. 7 at 6 p.m. in Willingham Auditorium.

The University's Center for Community Engagement, Department of International and Global Studies and Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) Office are collaborating on the series, which is free and open to the public.

Tuesday's event will focus on small group discussions about racial and ethnic injustice.

The audience will gather in the auditorium for a brief welcome and explanation of the format. Participants will have the opportunity to submit questions anonymously to be discussed among the groups. Each conversation will be facilitated by a team of faculty, staff and community members. After approximately 45 minutes, the audience will reconvene for a student-led evaluation of the discussions and closing.

“The goal of these discussions is to provide a forum through which our community, both Mercer and Macon, can practice engaging in dialogue about racism. Being able to engage with people with different belief systems, experiences and identities is essential for building mutual understanding, overcoming barriers to progress and effecting change,” said Hannah Vann, coordinator of community engagement at Mercer.

“Talking about race with people affected by racism is tough, and the more we can practice and develop the skill of engaging in productive dialogue, the better advocates and allies we become. One point of emphasis is that these conversations do not center just around issues between black and white people, but include the many and varied experiences of people of all ethnicities.”

Organizers of Mercer's 13th annual Building the Beloved Community Symposium, which will be held Feb. 28-March 1 on the Macon campus, will serve as an additional partner for this event by providing facilitators for the small groups.

Upcoming events in the “Identity in America” series will discuss “The First Americans: Hope and Healing with a Native American Medicine Story” on March 21 and “America, Land of the Free? Taking Action to Shape American Equality” on April 4. Panelists and additional details will be released at a later date.