Leadership Summit: Dialogues on Race
Team Member: Matthew Shervington
EVENT DATE May 20, 2015
Dana Wile wrote -
One of the most renowned principles of American culture is the understanding that America is intended to be a patch-work quilt made up of many different races, ethnicities, and cultures. Rifts in our quilt have become more obvious through events and deaths across out country that have caputured our attention through news media. Help us create a culture of peace and understanding in Lancaster County!
As a reaction these sad events in our country, a few Millersville University Graduate Student, in understanding how captivating these events have been in traditional and social media for Lancaster youth aimed to do something positive. They sought out fellow students in the Millersville School Counseling program as well as the co-president of the Lancaster County School Counselor Association (LCSCA) to begin a conversation about how to respond in Lancaster. In doing so, a small committee was formed in December of 2014. Over the following months, it was decided that the most effective way to do something positive that would also make a lasting impression with the students would be a summit. Thus, the “Leadership Summit: Dialogues on Race” was created.
Though this committee began with four members it has grown exponentially over the past four months. The committee for this year now includes members from community organizations that uplift the same values and mission of preparing students to handle and properly address this issue during and after the summit. Included in these community organizations are
• Harrisburg Area Community College
• YWCA - Lancaster
• Crispus Attucks Community Center
• LNP Media Group
• J-ARTS Second Chance Foundation
• Millersville University
• The Theater for Transformation
• Center for Safe Schools
• Roots for Justice
• Support of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans
And the list is growing.
All of the aforementioned organizations have worked in order to create programs for the summit to be run in sessional formats. The sessions to be run in the first half of the day will be educational in nature and filled with dialogue; They will be run by facilitators that are trained in various racial justice curricula. The sessions to be run in the second half of the day will be artistic and creative in nature including writing circles, music interpretation, role plays and artistic work.
We want this day to be the start of the conversation; we have not illusions that it is a ‘quick fix’. As such, at the end of the day there will be an Organization Fair featuring these organizations and numerous others that can help the students with issues they may be facing regarding this issue. Finally, students and educators will be given an Exit Toolkit to reference and use after the summit to continue the conversation.
The summit is becoming a reality, but it cannot do so, or operate ideally, without contributions from businesses and well-meaning people. Our goal is to have the option for at least ten 8th to 12th grade students from each of the 15 school districts in Lancaster – plus Local private schools – to be able to attend the summit on May 20th. In factoring this the committee has estimated that in order for the summit to take place we would need to raise roughly $3,000 to cover the cost of the event; This includes costs for marketing over the next two months, providing lunch for all of the students in attendance, facilitator trainings, printing of tool kits for the student to learn how to continue this work.
Although the possibility of raising the full $3,000 for this event through a crowd sourcing website isn’t optimal we to believe it to be possible. We believe with your support, this modest goal is attainable!
The event serves an important purpose and we believe that the community of Lancaster recognizes this and will look to contribute what they can to help their youth. We would like to thank you in advance for any contributions that you make.
If you would prefer to donate directly to a non-profit so you can get the tax deduction, please mail a check to Crispus Attucks with a note that it is for the Leadership Summit on Race
Crispus Attucks Community Center
404 S. Duke Street
P.O Box 894
Lancaster, PA 17608-0894
*If we raise over the $3,000 the money will go to support other Leadership Summits in coming years.