Reality Check Conference, June 29

Press release from Mountain Area Health Education Center:  

The Reality Check Conference is designed to encourage, empower, and educate leaders across Western North Carolina and surrounding areas on the cultural diversity challenges within our community. This conference will continue the conversation around building a better community and decreasing the gaps in disparities, education, and other social factors that play into the cultural divide of the community and city at large. Participants will also learn about local initiatives and key players who are active and directly involved in our community.

Featured Speakers

Tim Wise

Tim Wise is among the most prominent anti-racist writers and educators in the United States. He has spent the past 25 years speaking to audiences in all 50 states, on over 1000 college and high school campuses, at hundreds of professional and academic conferences and to community groups across the country. He is also the host of the new podcast, Speak Out with Tim Wise. Tim has lectured internationally in Canada and Bermuda, and has trained corporate, government, entertainment, media, law enforcement, military and medical industry professionals on methods for dismantling racism in their institutions. He has provided anti-racism training to educators and administrators nationwide. Tim is the author of seven books, including his latest, Under the Affluence: Shaming the Poor, Praising the Rich and Sacrificing the Future of America. Other books include Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority; his highly acclaimed memoir, White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged SonAffirmative Action: Racial Preference in Black and WhiteSpeaking Treason Fluently: Anti-Racist Reflections From an Angry White MaleBetween Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama; and Colorblind: The Rise of Post-Racial Politics and the Retreat from Racial Equity. Named one of “25 Visionaries Who are Changing Your World,” by Utne Reader, Tim has contributed chapters or essays to over 25 additional books and his writings are taught in colleges and universities across the nation. His essays have appeared on Alternet, Salon, Huffington Post, Counterpunch, The Root, Black Commentator, BK Nation and Z Magazine among other popular, professional and scholarly journals. From 1999-2003, Tim was an advisor to the Fisk University Race Relations Institute in Nashville, and in the early ’90s he was Youth Coordinator and Associate Director of the Louisiana Coalition Against Racism and Nazism—the largest of the many groups organized for the purpose of defeating neo-Nazi political candidate, David Duke. Tim has been featured in several documentaries, including the 2013 Media Education Foundation release, “White Like Me: Race, Racism and White Privilege in America.” The film, which he co-wrote and co-produced, has been called “A phenomenal educational tool in the struggle against racism,” by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva of Duke University and “One of the best films made on the unfinished quest for racial justice,” by Robert Jensen of the University of Texas. Tim appears regularly on CNN and MSNBC to discuss race issues and was featured in a 2007 segment on 20/20. He graduated from Tulane University in 1990 and received antiracism training from the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, in New Orleans.

Jane Elliott

Jane Elliott is convinced that Viktor Hugo was right when he told us that nothing can stop an idea whose time has come. The idea of one race—the HUMAN race—is an idea whose time has come, and we’d all better be prepared to pass it on. Jane received her teaching degree from the University of Northern Iowa. Chosen as one of Peter Jennings’ ABC-TV’s “Person of the Week,” Jane is the adaptor of the “Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes” discrimination experiment. The sensitizing exercise, in which participants are labeled inferior or superior based on the color of their eyes, began in a third-grade classroom in all-white, all-Christian Riceville, Iowa, immediately after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It has been repeated with dramatic results with children and adults throughout the country. Those who have been through this exercise have said it is an emotionally significant and life-changing experience. This ground breaking exercise is the pinnacle of all other diversity programming in the country today. Several television documentaries have covered her work, among them ABC’s “The Eye of the Storm,” which won the Peabody Award, “A Class Divided,” and dealt with the long-term impact of the exercise and Jane’s work with adults. It was broadcast nationally on PBS’s Frontline series, “The Eye of the Beholder,” which also focused on adults and their reactions to discrimination and was produced by Florida Public Television.

For more details or to register, click here.

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