Program aims to take mask off race relations in Richmond

samantha-willis-program

RICHMOND, Va. — Less than a month after Richmond made national headlines when a local musician and radio host wore black face to a Halloween party, community leaders have organized a series of learning sessions titled, The Unmasking: Race & Reality in Richmond.

“After a contentious, racially-charged election, and after our own unfortunate blackface incident here in Richmond, we’re presenting this series as a kind of community service,” series creator and Richmond magazine arts & entertainment editor Samantha Willis said. “This isn’t a one-time venting session; it’s not about polite conversation. We want to take off the masks we all wear when discussing race in public, get real, and move our city forward. The Unmasking series gives actionable steps to do that.”

The series will consist of three parts:

Part 1

When: December 7, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Dogtown Dance Theatre, 109 W. 15th Street, Richmond, Va.

What: A group of Richmond residents will share their personal narratives as related to race, followed by small group discussions.

Part 2

When: January 12, 2017 at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Dogtown Dance Theatre, 109 W. 15th Street, Richmond, Va.

What: Guests will interact with three panels led by historians, educators, and community leaders sharing historical and contemporary perspectives on race in Richmond, and why it’s still such a divisive issue.

Part 3

When: February 9, 2017 at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Dogtown Dance Theatre, 109 W. 15th Street, Richmond, Va.

What: Put learning into action. Civitas Health Services will present a mini-workshop to help guests identify and overcome Richmond’s generational racial trauma. Yewande Austin, VCU Globe Faculty Fellow and founder of the Global Institute for Diversity and Change, will then lead a seminar designed to help foster more inclusive mindsets, giving practical tools to become progressive change agents.

For more details and to register, click here.