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    Community Conversation to Address Racism Begins

    Greater Scranton MLK Commission series of community conversations addressing systemic racism continues this October
    October 6, 2020

    Last week, The Greater Scranton MLK Commission in collaboration with higher education partners, including The University of Scranton, launched a 3-part series, “Talking about Racism: A Community Conversation” to provide space for community members to listen, learn, and work for change.

    The first event, “Defining and Identifying Racism,” was held this past Thursday, Oct. 1 via Zoom webinar. This session’s moderator was Cathy Ann Hardaway, President of the Greater Scranton MLK Commission and featured presenters Arthur Breese, Director of Diversity, Geisinger and Teresa Grettano, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of English & Theatre, The University of Scranton.

    Two hundred participants from across our community joined into the educational session discussing the importance of identifying different forms of racism and how we can see the manifestations of the meaning of racism in our society, and in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Community members were invited to listen with openness, empathy and humility, and with justice in mind and after the presentation, joined in a question and answer session. This session provided participants with resources to further engage with the issue of racism and its impact; the session recording, PowerPoint presentation and accompanying video links, book recommendations and other online resources are available at: scranton.edu/TalkingAboutRacism.

    The events recognize that talking about race can be difficult, that progress is possible, and that missteps and growth will happen along the way. The sessions utilize speakers from Northeastern Pennsylvania colleges and universities and local organizations and are designed to seize the moment to ensure our region is a welcoming and inclusive community for diverse communities of color.

    To continue this learning journey, there will be two additional sessions offered this October. The second session on October 8, “Understanding White Privilege and Allyship” will be moderated by Ida Castro, J.D., MLK Commission, GCSOM and will feature presenters Jessica Nolan, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology, The University of Scranton and Leon John, Ph.D., Director of Alumni Engagement, East Stroudsburg University. The third session on October 15, “Discussing Black Lives Matter” will be moderated by Lia Richards Palmiter, Ph.D., MLK Commission, Marywood University and will feature presenters Glynis Johns, Founder, Black Scranton Project and Yerodin Lucas, Ph.D., Interim Director Office of Equity & Inclusion and Title IX Coordinator, Marywood University.

    Community members can still register to join in the conversation through a series of presentations followed by question and answer sessions held via Zoom on Thursdays from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. continuing October 8 and 15. Registration is required at surveymonkey.com/r/TalkingAboutRacism. Zoom information will be sent prior to the event.

    This series is a project of The Greater Scranton MLK Commission in collaboration with Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, Johnson College, Lackawanna College, Marywood University, Penn State Scranton, and The University of Scranton. Questions can be directed to community@scranton.edu.

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