reposted from Press Release
The Unmasking: Race & Reality in Richmond
RICHMOND, Va., Nov. 23, 2016 – Richmond magazine and a host of community partners present a three-part learning series, The Unmasking: Race & Reality in Richmond, Dec. 7 at 6:30 p.m., Jan. 12 at 6:30 p.m. and Feb. 9 at 6:30 p.m., at Dogtown Dance Theatre (109 W. 15 Street, Richmond, VAth). Race is a central root of Richmond’s history, twining into everything from our art to infrastructure, education to economics. Now more than ever, it’s time to talk about it, frankly.There is no cost to attend, but registration is required (we request a $5 donation at the door). Register here:richmondmag.com/unmasking.
The series starts Dec. 7 at 6:30 p.m. with dinner, a film and discussion. Richmonders are invited to get to know each other over a meal, with an introduction by Danita Roundtree Green of Coming to the Table. Enjoli Moon, founder of Afrikana Independent Film Festival and James Parrish, co-founder of Bijou Film Center, will present a film to kickstart the conversation about race. A group of Richmond residents will share their personal narratives as related to race, followed by small group discussions. This event will be hosted by Kelli Lemon, business manager at Mama J’s, Radio One on-air personality and host of Coffee with Strangers RVA.
Part two of the series, The Backstory Breakdown, is Jan. 12, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. Guests will interact with three panels led by historians, educators, and community leaders sharing historical and contemporary perspectives on race in Richmond, and why it’s still such a divisive issue. Panelists include: Gregg Kimball, historian, Library of Virginia; Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom, sociologist/author; Rev. Ben Campbell, author; Free Egunfemi, CXO of Untold RVA/independent historical activist; Thad Williamson, associate professor, University of Richmond/co-chair, Mayor-Elect Stoney’s transition team; Kristen Green, New York Times best-selling author; Enjoli Moon, creative director/founder, Afrikana Independent Film Festival; John Moeser, senior fellow, University of Richmond; Joseph Papa, Equality Virginia; Marc Cheatham, creator/host, The Cheats Movement; Dr. Lauranett Lee, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities board member/former curator of African-American history at the Virginia Historical Society; Dr. Julian Hayter, historian/professor, University of Richmond; Dr. Shawn Utsey, professor of psychology and interim chair of African-American studies, VCU. Moderators include Karla Redditte, NBC12 anchor.
The final part of the series, Feb. 9, 2017, puts learning into action. Civitas Health Services will present a mini-workshop to help guests identify and overcome Richmond’s generational racial trauma. Yewande Austin, VCU Globe Faculty Fellow and founder of the Global Institute for Diversity and Change, will then lead a seminar designed to help foster more inclusive mindsets, giving practical tools to become progressive change agents.
“After a contentious, racially-charged election, and after our own unfortunate blackface incident here in Richmond, we’re presenting this series as a kind of community service,” says Samantha Willis, arts & entertainment editor at Richmond magazine and series creator. “This isn’t a one-time venting session; it’s not about polite conversation. We want to take off the masks we all wear when discussing race in public, get real, and move our city forward. The Unmasking series gives actionable steps to do that.”
Seating is limited to 150 people per event; tickets are given first-come, first-serve. Community partners:Afrikana Independent Film Festival, The Cheats Movement, Radio IQ/UnMonumental, Coming to the Table RVA, Untold RVA, Global Institute for Diversity and Change, Civitas Health Services, Equality Virginia, Mama J’s,Coffee with Strangers RVA, Life in 10 Minutes
For more details and to register, visit richmondmag.com/unmasking. Join the conversation online: #unmaskingRVA
The Unmasking series artwork created by Adrian Walker