Penn’s Social Policy & Practice and African-American Resource Center to Host ‘Let’s Talk About Race’

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Media Contact:Jill DiSanto | | 215-898-4820January 23, 2013

PHILADELPHIA — The School of Social Policy & Practice and the African-American Resource Center at the University of Pennsylvania will host “Let’s Talk About Race” Wednesday, Jan. 30, at 5 p.m. in the Claudia Cohen Hall Terrace Room.

“Let’s Talk About Race” is a frank, interactive discussion, offering people of all races, backgrounds and beliefs a way to foster communication and create understanding.  It is free and open to the public.

Led by Howard Stevenson, a psychologist and a professor in Penn’s Graduate School of Education, “Let’s Talk About Race” features a short documentary film and a facilitated conversation among small groups of racially diverse people.

Stevenson said that, while it is essential to address systemic and institutional racism, “we underestimate the negative effects of daily racial conflicts on the well being for children, youth and adults at the peril of academic performance, work productivity and bonding in teacher-student, police-youth and parent-child relationships."

“In 2008, in a speech in Philadelphia,” said Richard J. Gelles, dean of the School of Social Policy & Practice, “then-candidate Barack Obama stated that our country needed a conversation about race.  After the election Attorney General Eric Holder repeated the call for the conversation about race. But, the conversation has yet to happen. The School of Social Policy & Practice is proud to take up the president’s challenge and begin a series of conversations about race.”