A.M. Sessions

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Structural Racism & Families; a Panel Discussion

A panel discussion regarding the impact of structural racism on families. African American infants are more than twice as likely as White infants to die before their first birthday. This disparity still exists even after controlling for socioeconomic, behavioral and health factors. Recent research has turned toward the impact of structural racism and chronic stress on epigenetics, and how these changes may affect birth outcomes. Panel members will provide an overview of structural racism and epigenetics, highlight local impacts of structural racism, and engage attendees in discussion about how to address racism as a health challenge in our community.

Facilitator: Deanna Spiotta


Rochester: A National Leader in Poverty and Racial Segregation

Understanding the roots of how we got here and looking at local opportunities for effecting change. A retrospective look at African American experiences of coming from the South to Rochester during the Great Migration years and Caucasian experiences of Federal Assistance Programs during the Great Depression and post WWII years. A personal sharing time for participants to talk of family stories and to hear experiences of others. A forward look at the many and varied opportunities for individuals to become agents of change.

Facilitators: Tracey Farmer and Windsor Asamoah-Wade 


The Impact of White Identity on Whiteness: There is no Neutral

Facilitator: Vivian MacClurgThis workshop will be a combination of information sharing and dialogue about white identity and how it shapes the internal, interpersonal, institutions and systems we operate in every day. Our premise is that people are completely good, and although we are not to blame for our conditioning, once we become aware we become responsible for undoing it and taking action to create a more equitable society.

Facilitators: Vivian MacClurg and Steven Jarose


Diversity Theatre

How can theatrical techniques be used to build connected communities and teach diversity and inclusion topics? This workshop will give examples of how various interactive theatre techniques can be used along with a specific story example from the “past.” The workshop is highly interactive in a relaxed and structured atmosphere. Workshop participants will be asked to volunteer as readers and storytellers.

Facilitator: Tina Chapman DaCosta


Raise the Age: A Community Response to Mass Incarceration

This workshop is a timely invitation to immediate participation within the local campaign to affect near term change of New York State’s criminal justice system. Participants will hear and share stories of the young people of color affected by today’s culture of mass incarceration. As a Call to Action, attendees will be given access to resources, learn about the status of Raise the Age legislative reform and interact directly with local and statewide organizers of the campaign.

Facilitators: Jon Greenbaum with member of FR=EE Subgroup on Criminal /Juvenile Justice in Alliance with Roc/ACTS (Rochester Alliance of Communities Transforming Society, Inc.)


Adversity, Perseverance, & Transformation: Growing up in Native America

This workshop will begin by addressing historical events that transformed Native American identity and have shaped Native identity. Using these historical events as examples, the workshop will share the impact these events have had on Native identity and on Native American communities. The workshop will focus on the adversity and perseverance of our Native ancestors and the inequities that the young Native generation face as they work to reclaim their identity and overcome these inequities.

Facilitators: Nicole Scott & G. Peter Jemison