An Introspective Conversation on Race


    “Are you tired of being afraid to have “difficult” conversations about race? Are you interested in the effects of personal change on diversity, equity, and inclusion? Are you ready to start your journey? Join other forward thinking people interested in working towards greater diversity, inclusion, and equity in our community. This first gathering will include a series of self-mapping and artistic expression exercises to explore ourselves – our beliefs, filters, prejudices, priorities, values, and interpersonal connections – as a starting point towards learning how we as individuals understand and operate within our networks, neighborhoods, communities, and worldviews. By starting with a deep look at ourselves, we can identify our barriers and challenges to progress, both as individuals and collectively, and start to build the framework and momentum needed to have successful dialogue about racial diversity, inclusion, and equity, with the goal of making real progress towards a more unified community.

    This is a grassroots undertaking, and this is YOUR opportunity to be part of the change you want to see in the community. This gathering is open to anyone interested in being part of this conversation. We ask that participants commit to having an open mind and a willingness to be vulnerable and look within to find truth as a starting point for personal growth.

    Our hope is that participants will leave the gathering with a better understanding of themselves and how they navigate issues surrounding race. That participants will make new and meaningful connections with individuals who share the same desire to have this difficult but necessary dialogue and generate ideas about how to be the change you wish to see in our community.

    Facilitated by John-Peter Wilhite & Adam Ragan, with support from Debi Chess Mabie, Christian Ramirez, and Julie Ragland. Snacks will be provided, and the gathering will conclude with a social hour party with food trucks and DJ from 5-7pm.”

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    Carolyn Classen
    Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, (since Jan. 2013).

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