\Please Join Us! – Workshop: What Stands Between Us? The Issue of Race in America & our Community

Date: Thursday, 1/26/2016 Time: 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM Place: Utica Public Library
Second Floor, Gallery
Presented By: Patrick L. Johnson

RSVP: (315) 601-6002


The Workshop is free and open to the public. Light lunch will be served.


This is a workshop that addresses the issue of racism in America and more importantly here in the Mohawk Valley. It will place on Thursday, January 26th at the Utica Public Library, 303 Genesee Street, Utica (Second Floor). Parking is in the rear. We will begin at 9am and end at 3 pm. The purpose of this forum is to raise our awareness about the impact racism has in our lives – even when we may not be aware of it. The presenter will create an atmosphere that will allow all participants to share their experiences and concerns about racism in America. This workshop will afford the participants an opportunity to have an authentic conversation; one that is intended to be enriching and insightful. There will also be opportunities to offer solutions for a better community. One of the primary purposes of this workshop is to heighten our awareness as to how present racism is in the workplace and other areas of our life….even when we may not notice. Many people have not been offered the opportunity to have an honest dialogue about race relations. This is that opportunity.

We will explore what it means to be White, Black, Asian, Latino. What are your experiences given the racial identity that you hold? What stands between us? Although many would say that race relations have gotten better in America, what are the unresolved issues that keep us disconnected? One of the best things we can do for starters is begin to have honest conversations. It’s often what we don’t talk about that often produces polarization.

The participants in this forum will be fueled with new insight that will help them create a warmer and more welcoming work environment. This discussion will be thought provoking and engaging. We will not only gain a better understanding of others, but more importantly ourselves. In doing so, we find genuine ways to connect with people who are different than us, because we have been willing to ask the questions that help bring a better understanding of different groups. This workshop has proven to be an eye opener for many, also liberating and empowering.

This workshop will be unique and a little different from what we are accustomed to in the sense that we are asking the college to create a space for a small group of people FROM the community to join us in this very important discussion. This is done for at least a few reasons:
1. When having a discussion on race, it is critical to have voices, experiences and perspectives that are not a part of MVCC – it brings a different perspective.
2. Because of our internal relationships here at MVCC, it is helpful to have an external, fresh perspective from outsiders so that questions can be asked that we may not have thought about.
3. The more diverse and different professions we have in the room, the more we are able to consider how race impacts different areas of our life. Bringing in outside perspectives and experiences stimulates the discussion and heightens our awareness and aids in our professional growth.

As the Mohawk Valley emerges into a very diverse community, we can no longer afford to put this conversation on the shelf. I invite you to join this important dialogue.

*A light lunch will be served