KFTC members participate in Facing Race and Showing Up for Racial Justice training
On November 15, a delegation of two staff and seven members made a long trek to Baltimore to attend two conferences focusing on Racial Justice. The delegation included Meta Mendel-Reyes and Carissa Lenfert from Berea, Tayna Fogle, Janet Tucker, Tanya and Christian Torp from Lexington, and K.A. Owens, Kristah Lavalle, and Colette Henderson from Louisville.
Interest in the conference emerged from various conversations about diversity within KFTC. Last year in Jefferson County, members participated in a series of webinars on Racial Justice hosted by the Applied Research Center. The ARC publishes an excellent online magazine called Colorlines and also hosts the Facing Race conference. Due to mounting interest by members on learning more about how to better engage in racial justice, the Executive Committee agreed to send a delegation to the conference. In addition, a special training with Showing Up for Racial Justice would follow the conference and a portion of KFTC's delegation remained in Baltimore to attend that training. SURJ is a national network of groups and individuals organizing white people for racial justice and has a local group that meets in Louisville at the Fairness Campaign's office.
The Facing Race Conference consisted of several plenaries which topics included Debriefing the Election, Race and Gender in the 21st Century, and Culture and Politics. Participants selected from a diverse array of intersectional workshops that were organized into four tracks: Arts, Culture, & Media, Organizing and Skill Building, and Research and Policy.
The conference also had reknowned author Junot Diaz as a keynote speaker who spoke on Race Talk, Sexuality and Teachable Moments for the Masses. The SURJ training that followed helped members navigate step by step through the history of racial justice, owning and identifying our barriers around race, and how to implement proactive solutions in our organizations and personal lives. Members reported an array of experiences during the conference but the overall reception was extremely positive and folks returned to Kentucky full of ideas to strengthen our work.