Anti-racism ‘listen-in’ series starts Monday

Adirondack Diversity Initiative Director Nicole Hylton-Patterson talks with state Adirondack Park Agency board members at their December 2019 meeting in Ray Brook. (Enterprise photo — Aaron Cerbone)

SARANAC LAKE — An anti-racism “listen-in” and “teach-in” series of talks will begin Monday, hosted by the Adirondack Diversity Initiative and Adirondack North Country Association.

The series of talks will focus on informing the community and mobilizing action on issues of racial equity and justice in America. It is a response to thousands of people gathering for peaceful protests across northern New York in recent weeks, part of a broader national movement against racism and police brutality.

“We are witnessing an unprecedented wave of passion and support for racial justice across the nation and here in the North Country,” ADI Director Nicky Hylton-Patterson said in a press release. “Our hope is that ADI’s new Antiracism Campaign will educate and empower white allies and activists so they can understand and combat systemic racism within their own communities and social networks.”

The first “listen-in” session, titled “Antiracism 101: Checklist for white allies & activists,” will be a discussion on the black experience in America. It will take place on Monday from 6 to 7 p.m. via Zoom. It will feature Hylton-Patterson and a panel of black activist-scholars from across the region: Michelle Cromwell, vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion at SUNY Plattsburgh; Nicole Horsley, assistant professor at the Center for the Study of Culture, Race and Ethnicity at Ithaca College; and Clifton Harcum, diversity officer in the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at SUNY Potsdam.

After registering for the event at https://adirondack.org/Listen-in, participants will receive Zoom login information, as well as an invitation to submit questions for the panelists.

Hylton-Patterson explained that “listen-ins” are rooted in the African oral history tradition of passing down knowledge. These forums allow experts to discuss topics and share information with the audience without interruption. She described “teach-ins” as informal lectures and discussions on a subject of public interest.

“ANCA is enormously grateful to be able to host these sessions. Our white staff has already learned and absorbed so much from working with Nicky about becoming allies in this critically important movement,” ANCA Executive Director Kate Fish said in a press release. “We invite everyone to join these sessions, ask your questions and learn.”


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