ALTON - The YWCA in Alton has put out an open invitation for the public to join via Zoom three meetings to discuss perceptions concerning race.

"We will discuss how we are socialized to think out of our perception concerning race," said Dorothy Hummel, executive director of the YWCA in Alton. "We will learn and discuss the historical context and our current individual expressions and reactions to privilege. This will be facilitated by Minister Joyce Elliot and Ruth Meyer."

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Hummel said: "Please be advised that YWCA is a recipient of the 2020 Illinois Healing Grant. We are truly thrilled to be able to kick start our new programs YWCA: Eliminating Racism, Expanding Program.

"The YWCA recognizes a community need for dialogue and education about racism, the effect of racism, and how to move forward. The project is designed to build knowledge and understanding of racism and develop relationships that support racial healing."

The programs are as follows:

2 p.m. Saturday, December 12, 2020

The Path of Socialization: How bias is developed.

2 p.m. Saturday, January 9, 2021

Power and Privilege: The inherent bias that evolves from privilege.

2 p.m. Saturday, January 23, 2021

Topic: To be announced.

The goals of the program are to:

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Foster an understanding of intrinsic bias, enhance knowledge of justice and equity.

Facilitate conversations that build the understanding & empathy needed to support racial healing.

Facilitate activities that create respect for differences so that our diversity becomes our strength.

The event is free and open to all. If you are interested in registering over the phone or have questions, please call us at 618-465-7774 or email us at Feel free to forward this email to your friends — we have a tight timeline on the grant and are a little slow to market the first sessions.

Hummel said: "Please join with us on Saturday, December 12, as we study and discuss how we are socialized to think and act out our perceptions concerning race."

Register here:

Diverstory Series Planned With Three Virtual Live Sessions

A Diverstory series is also planned by the Alton YWCA with three virtual live sessions where children and their grownups come together to listen to a children's story about diversity, inclusion, and race. Every family will receive a copy of that week's book as well as an activity kit to continue intentional conversations of race.

The first Diverstory virtual session addresses the question, "Who are we?" and will take place at 10 a.m. on Zoom on December 12. Sheila Kelly and Shelly Ratner will lead this program. The book "The Skin You Live In" by Michael Tyler will be featured.

At 10 a.m. on Saturday, January 16, 2021, "Let's Talk About Race will feature Julius Lester and the book "Skin Again" by Bell Hooks.

At 10 a.m. on Saturday, January 30, 2021, will feature the program "Speak Up!" led by Miranda Paul. The book "Intersectional Allies" will be discussed by Carolyn Choi, Latoya Council and Chelsea Johnson.

Register here:

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