REGISTER NOW for our  3rd Annual Community Summit on Race!

Breaking Down Racial Barriers: A Community Pulling Together

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Wilson Commencement Academy

11 AM to 4 PM.

This year’s Summit is our biggest yet and features 12 concurrent breakout sessions presented by various community members and organizations across Rochester.

Register here:


Breakout Sessions

This year’s breakout sessions are as follows:

Witnessing Whiteness: The Need to Talk About Race and How to Do ItAmerica is often referred to as a melting pot where people from various cultures, ethnicities, and races blend together to create a new American identity. What is that identity? What does it mean to be a white American? What does it mean to be a white person working to eliminate racism? To be a witness?Facilitator:  Jean Carroll, YWCA
Re-addressing Power Imbalances through Cultural HumilityCultural humility provides a framework for understanding the significance of the funds of knowledge that exist within each person’s cultural background and identity.  By deepening our cultural humility, we are able to recognize and re-address power imbalances that exist within our immediate social and organizational structures.  Join us for an interactive exploration of cultural humility and its potential impact for understanding the self, interpersonal relationships, and bolstering organizations and movements working for justice.Facilitators:  Kristin Hocker, Kit Miller, Malik Thompson, M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence
Achieving the American Dream:  How Can We Create a Practical Program of Land and Housing for All in Rochester? Without equal access to land and housing (the “land” in the land of opportunity), the American Dream has proven elusive to many, especially communities of color.  Historically, which groups have had more access to land and affordable housing and how does this affect our current problems with housing insecurity, displacement, and homelessness?  What processes and solutions can we bring to extend housing opportunities that correct historic and present injustices?Facilitator:  Ryan Acuff, Take Back the Land Rochester
A Conversation on Race and PovertyCommunity conversations on race give us a larger lens to explore racial disparity, both personal and systemic. This conversation, developed by the Friends and Foundation of the Rochester Public Library and partner organizations, explores the ways race and poverty are interconnected. Using interactive, experiential guided discussion, participants can become more aware, knowledgeable and confident in engaging others through deeper, more meaningful dialogue.Facilitators:  Steve Jarose, James Thompson, Judy ToyerCollaborating organizations:  ACT Rochester, Asbury First Methodist Church, Center for Dispute Settlement, Metro Justice, M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, National Coalition Building Institute
School to Prison Pipeline·      Participants will explore the structural racism built into the educational system and get an in-depth look at how the school climate is criminalizing young people in the Rochester City School District as well as nationwide and what can be done to end it.·Facilitators:  Velverly Caldwell, Ana Casserly, Pat Mannix, Eamonn Scanlon, Sallie Williams
Collaborating organizations:  Metro Justice Education Committee and Racial Justice Initiative
The Unite Rochester ChallengeThe Unite Rochester Challenge is an open contest designed to spark creative community solutions to racism and socioeconomic inequality in our region.  This is an exciting way for nonprofits, along with individuals, educational institutions, businesses and other organizations, to take action. The winning submission will receive financial support and mentorship to put the proposed project into motion.Facilitators:  Julie Philipp, Sheila Rayam, Unite Rochester, Democrat and Chronicle
Police and Community Relations:  How to Build Trust Participate in a dialogue with members of local law enforcement and community organizations to explore issues, current activities, and important improvements in Police and Community Relations/Trust.Facilitators:  Kerry Coleman, Coalition for Police Reform; KaeLyn Rich, Genesee Valley/ NYS Civil Liberties Union; Wayne Harris, Rochester Police Department; Mike Mazzeo, Rochester Police Department; Ray Mayoliz, City of Rochester 
Judicial and Community Relations Through dialogue about the existence of racial barriers and the lack of available resources in the judicial system, we will discuss ways to build community awareness, understanding, and trusting relationships between young adults and members of the local judiciary. Facilitators:  Judge Castro, City Court and Acting County Court; Judge Dixon, City Court; Judge Elliott, Drug and Mental Health Courts; Judge Nessler, Family Court; Young adults 
Raise the Age: A Comprehensive Reform The Raise the Age initiative has near-term potential to become the most significant reform of New York’s criminal justice system in decades.  It is designed as a positive disruption of the school to prison pipeline which has a disproportionate impact on peoples of color. After a short overview on the status of “Raise the Age”, attendees will engage in discussions and intimate workshop exercises alongside initiative architects, proponents and stakeholders.Facilitators:  Elizabeth Powers, The Children’s Defense Fund; Elaine Spaull,  Governor’s Commission on Youth, Public Safety and Justice; Rosemary Rivera, Citizen Action of New York; Field workers from the Center for Youth 
Race and Justice Partnerships Participants from multiple groups focused on race and justice issues and needs will dialogue with attendees about the importance of community-wide partnerships and what is required to make progress.Facilitators:  Mike Bleeg, Juvenile and Criminal Justice Workgroup; Cynthia Herriott Sullivan, Unite Rochester; Rev. Lewis Stewart, Coalition for Police Reform, United Christian Leadership Ministries; Rev. William Wilkinson, Greater Rochester Community of Churches, Roc ACTS 
Developing Authentic Alternatives: From the Streets to JobsHundreds of young adults of color, failed by the education system, populate urban streets and corners.  How do we help these individuals move from the streets into jobs?  Who is on the streets, and why? How can we compete with the income in the drug trade? What are the obstacles to legal employment? Join us to wrestle with ways that local social institutions – education, employment training, businesses, and social services – can get outside the racial and socioeconomic box and engage talented people our community has written off.Facilitators: Tim Weider, Neighborhood Consortium and Jobs and Economic Development Workgroup; unemployed neighborhood residents; representatives from education, employment training, businesses, and social services
The Historic and Ongoing Impact of Racism on Public EducationThis session will include an interactive, historical overview regarding the existence and impact of individual and institutionalized racism in public education, an interactive discussion on ways racism continues to impact public education, and brainstorming of potential short- and long-range solutions.Facilitator:  Howard Eagle, Race and Education Action and Change Workgroup