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Race Relations Summit: The Power of Voice

Posted by City of Tallahassee ; Posted on 
Advocacy - DEADLINE :  
Race Relations Summit: The Power of Voice


Wednesday, Oct. 19, at Donald L. Tucker Civic Center

On Wednesday, Oct. 19, the City of Tallahassee will host “The Power of Voice,” a daylong race relations summit to connect communities through conversation. The summit will feature local community leaders and renowned experts on topics including developing an inclusive work environment, examining unconscious bias, building fair housing, understanding the social determinants of health and more.

Register now for this free event to experience a day of thought-provoking presentations. More than 15 speakers will lead discussions and interactive workshops in the spirit of collaboration and unity from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The luncheon session will feature a screening of “RACE to Be Human,” a film that addresses the apprehension and confusion sometimes felt when it comes to talking about race and racism.

“The Power of Voice” summit offers an important opportunity for the community to engage in dialogue designed to elevate the racial literacy and consciousness of individuals and organizations. Through these meaningful discussions, progress continues toward transforming systems and eliminating predictable racial disparities that hinder growth and success for all.


7:30 a.m.
Doors Open, Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 9 a.m.
Introduction: Reese Goad, City Manager
Presentation of Colors: Honor Guard
National Anthem: Javacya Arts Conservatory
Invocation: TBA
Greetings: Mayor John E. Dailey

9 – 9:45 a.m.
Keynote Address

The Power of Voice: Moving Beyond Diversity and Into Belonging – Rick Caldwell
Successfully building an inclusive workplace goes beyond setting diversity, equity and inclusion goals and making public Diversity Statements. To truly operationalize inclusion, leaders need to incorporate actionable methods that encourage inclusion at every stage of the employee experience.

The research is clear – inclusive environments are performance enhancers. They are characterized by higher productivity, less turnover and more resilient cultures. While basic research has shown that diverse and inclusive teams are better at problem-solving and fostering a global outlook, many professionals still struggle with building strategies for the modern workplace that maximize inclusion and belonging at all levels.

9:45 – 9:50 a.m.
Opening of Workshops – Angela Hendrieth, City of Tallahassee Chief Diversity Officer

10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Workshop Sessions

Why We Need to Be Conscious of Unconscious Bias – Dr. Gabrielle K. Gabrielli

A crucial step toward an inclusive work environment is developing an awareness and understanding of biases that can unconsciously influence how we work and interact with people. We all have unconscious biases based on our experiences, influences, background, education and even brain chemistry.

Through awareness-building discussions and activities, role-plays and unconscious bias case studies, this course will help you better understand bias and discover practical strategies that can help you and your colleagues avoid bias and leverage the power of a more positive, inclusive work environment.

Art As a Medium to Promote Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Classroom – Hannah Schwadron, Ivanna Pengelley, Danie Etienne and Dan Kahn

This participatory workshop introduces the notion of “freedom dreams” as discussed in Robin D.G Kelley’s book by the same name and through group discussion and creative movement exploration. Sharing sample pedagogy developed with and for incarcerated youth at the Leon County Youth Detention Center, co-facilitators guide attendees through a series of physical games, conversation prompts, and collaborative dance/music making that builds toward the concept of “dreaming with eyes wide open” as active visions of the worlds we need and examples of how we can create them in real time.

Equal Opportunity for ALL! Building a Culture of Respect – Dante’ Bonner, FCHR

Human rights are rights we have simply because we exist as human beings – they are not granted by any state. These universal rights are inherent to us all, regardless of nationality, sex, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, language, or any other status. They range from the most fundamental – the right to life – to those that make life worth living, such as the rights to food, education, health, liberty, and work.  The key to creating an accepting work environment is to treat everyone with respect and equality! This workshop is designed to provide an understanding of EEOC laws, policies, and directives. Participants will learn ways to avoid decision-making which may lead to discrimination complaints and enhance their ability to lead an inclusive workforce.

12:15 – 2:15 p.m.
Luncheon Screening of “RACE to Be Human” facilitated by Dr. Kenneth Fowler

“RACE to Be Human” addresses the impact of racism on our mental health through the lens of students, experts, and educators. Created for schools, communities and corporations, RACE to Be Human addresses the apprehension and confusion so many of us feel when it comes to talking about race and racism. The film program examines micro-aggressions, allyship, the role of social media, and more. It also shares how we can promote curiosity, self-reflection, and empathy through conversations at home, school, and work.

2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Workshop Sessions

Health Equity: Understanding the Social Determinants – Lauren Faison-Clark, Andrea Friall, M.D., Marcus West, Temple Robinson, M.D.

Across the country, in urban and rural communities, far too many individuals and families are grappling with poverty, a lack of jobs and affordable housing, discrimination, and other factors that lead to poor health. The key to achieving health equity lies in practices, policy, systems, and environmental changes that address the social determinants of health. Public health practitioners, researchers, and advocates will discuss solutions to improve these determinants and steps our community can take to drive health equity.

Home Sweet Home: Building your Fair Housing Knowledge – Nicole Everett, Dante’ Bonner, FCHR, and Lauren Stafford

Discriminatory housing and land policies built and maintain wealth in this country. Jim Crow segregation, redlining, urban renewal and slum clearance programs, and New Deal housing policies created an American middle class while intentionally excluding Black Americans and people of color. How do we combat the historical legacies, structures, and systems that continuously support patterns of exclusion and begin to develop stronger, resilient, more inclusive communities?   The goal of this workshop is to provide a foundational understanding to support further learning of fair housing laws and to galvanize efforts to bolster Florida’s communities of color through equitable home investments and home ownership.

Show Me the Money: Creating and Supporting Minority Businesses – Keith Bowers, Office of Economic Vitality Executive Director and Katrina Tuggerson, Capital City Chamber President

While Black Americans make up 13 percent of the U.S. population, they own less than 2 percent of small businesses with employees. By contrast, White Americans make up 60 percent of the U.S. population but own 82 percent of small employer firms. If financial capital were more evenly distributed and Black Americans enjoyed the same business ownership and success rates as their White counterparts, there would be approximately 860,000 additional Black-owned firms employing more than 10 million people. For those who are fortunate enough to own a small business, they can also offer a pathway to wealth-building and prosperity.

Looking Beyond the Badge – Working Together to Address Community Violence – John Baker, City of Tallahassee Neighborhood Affairs Manager and Deputy Chief Maurice Holmes, Tallahassee Police Department

Law enforcement agencies have worked hard to increase transparency, revise policies to enhance procedural justice, recruit and hire officers who reflect the communities they serve, implement de-escalation techniques, and focus on eliminating cultures that prevent officers from holding each other accountable. However, there is more work to be done as we move forward. Join us for a discussion on how law enforcement agencies and residents can work together to create a safer community.

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