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Facing Race 2012 Preview

November 18, 2012

©2012 Brian Palmer

Facing Race 2012, organized by the Applied Research Center, is the “largest national, multi-racial gathering of leaders, educators, journalists, artists, and activists on racial justice.” Refuse The Silence had the pleasure of covering the conference in Baltimore this weekend and, over the next few days we will use this forum to share video from the plenary sessions, panel recaps as well as our thoughts and reactions to Facing Race in relation to higher education.

Our founder, Morgane (@morgane_r),  and writer Nina (@ninabyte) lived-tweeted throughout the conference so make sure to check out their tweets to see what they had to say (watch for the#FacingRace hashtag).

In the meantime, here is a glimpse into the conference:

From November 15th – 17th 2012, over 1400 attendees – from students and professionals to grassroots activists and retirees -joined to share their knowledge and experience around racial justice advocacy. Though a large portion of attendees’s and speakers came from the East Coast of the United States, there were over 200 from the states of California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Texas and even a handful who flew in from countries such as Ghana and Japan (pretty awesome if you ask me!).

Over the course of three-days, attendees were given the opportunity to partake in 60 seminars addressing topics from arts, culture and media to organizing/skill building and research/policy. And when the mental processing got a bit too heavy, all were invited to enjoy the wise words of keynote speaker, Junot Diaz, shake off the stress in a masquerade dance party, and take home free screenprints by Dignidad Rebelde.

As the fabulous Ph.D. students and education activist, Tressie McMillan Cottom, exclaims, the researcher’s life can be solitary, but Facing Race gave us all a moment to reflect on the reasons why we do the work that we do. It allowed many activists to see that our work and passions are not isolated in a bubble or frozen within the realms of new media.


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