The USA Network recognized The University of Akron's Rethinking Race series as an honorable mention winner in its "Characters Unite" contest, part of a nationwide public service campaign that aims to address social injustices and bridge cultural divides.
The Race Experience Kiosk, which allowed visitors to see themselves in a different skin, was a popular exhibit during Rethinking Race this year.
Rethinking Race's roots can be traced back to 1997, when President Bill Clinton chose UA as the location for his first Town Hall Meeting on Race. Now, each February, UA commemorates the president's visit by cultivating understanding among thousands of participants through lectures, face-to-face conversations, films, special events and more.
"True understanding begins with communication, and Rethinking Race provides a forum in which students, faculty, staff and members of the community can hear and share a wide variety of viewpoints," says Lee Gill, UA associate vice president for inclusion and equity and chief diversity officer. "We hope that by discussing and examining different perspectives on race in an open, casual environment, we will get participants to move outside of their comfort zones and move beyond tired, old stereotypes, toward justice, reconciliation and redemption."
Plans are under way for the next Rethinking Race series, which will take place in February 2014. For more information, visit Rethinking Race online.
To enter the contest, Theresa Beyerle, Stefanie Shatrich and Amy Shriver Dreussi of UA's Rethinking Race committee submitted a 500-word essay, which provided an overview of the series and the impact it had on the community. Ten overall winners and five honorable mention winners were chosen from more than 100 applicants. For more information, visit the Characters Unite campaign online.
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