Akron Urban League and Temple Israel Akron partner to address unconscious biases.

Feb 07, 2018

The Akron Urban League in partnership with Temple Israel Akron and the YWCA of Greater Cleveland have partnered to present It’s Time to Talk: Forums on Race on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm.

It’s Time to Talk Forums on Race is a culmination of a three month long training program in which various community members, organizations, religious institutions and social service agencies trained to become social justice facilitators with the purpose of developing the skills necessary to foster community dialogue on issues related to social injustices.

“The collective goal of the Urban League and Temple Israel is to expand understanding and cultural competency through dialogue among diverse community members from all walks of life. We join other leaders and organizations in the community in taking different approaches to addressing a difficult topic. Our hope is that once we get people to begin talking about social justice issues we will begin to eliminate barriers that foster racism, discrimination and biases”, says Dr. Sadie Winlock, President and CEO of the Akron Urban League.

The event, which will take place on March 28, 2018 from 11:30 am – 2:30 pm, will be held at Quaker Station on the Campus of The University of Akron, 135 South Broadway St, Akron, Ohio 44308. Guests will enjoy lunch and a keynote presentation from Dr. Jerry Sue Thornton.

Dr. Jerry Sue Thornton is currently CEO of DreamCatcher Educational Consulting Service where she coaches and provides professional development for new college and university presidents. She served as President of Cuyahoga Community College, the largest and oldest community college in Ohio, since 1992. She retired June 28, 2013 as President and was presented by the Board of Trustees with the title of President Emeritus. During her tenure, the College became a leader in educational innovation, workforce training and economic development. She is recognized as “one of the 50 most influential people in Northeast Ohio.”

Along with the keynote address, guests will participate in Circle Conversations intended to create awareness and collective discovery of perceptions and issues around race, class and culture present in Summit County. The Circle Conversations will be led by one of seventy-five Summit County community members who spent months training to hone their group facilitation skills around these, often difficult, topics.

“The training opened my eyes to what’s possible to learn and understand, even in a brief conversation,” said Laurie Zuckerman, one of the event organizers. “People’s stories are so moving. The trainer, Heather Steranka-Petit from the YWCA of Greater Cleveland, taught us to listen without judgment, and to openly hear each other. I very much look forward to the March 28 event.”

“In a city as diverse as Akron, we know our community can lead the way in eliminating racism.” It’s Time to Talk inspired me because it asks each of us to work on our biases one person at a time. When hundreds of people agree to do this work, as we know they will, we will know that we have brought individuals, neighborhoods and our city to be a place filled with acceptance and love” said Rabbi Josh Brown of Temple Israel Akron.

Reservations to the It’s Time to Talk: Forums on Race Luncheon can be made at www.akronurbanleague.org/timetotalk. Individual reservations can be purchased for $50.00 per ticket and tables of 8 can be purchased for $500.00. Questions regarding the event can be directed to Minette Boyd at (234)542-4136.