2000-10-31 Holland Sentinel Panelists to share stories of racism at town meeting

Panelists to share stories of racism at town meeting
Holland Sentinel

On Thursday six local residents will share their experiences with racism while living in the Grand Haven community, during a community wide town meeting from 7-9pm at Grand Haven Outreach Church, 17 S Second Street.

Gail Harrison, executive director of the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance, explained that the meeting will be a chance fro Tri-Cities residents to hear stories about racism from people living in their own community, as well as to hear and share their own desires for change.

“As much as they value a lot about this community – the beautiful lake, the quaint town and safe streets – the thing that is lacking for many of these folks is the richness of cultural diversity,” Harrison said.

A similar meeting to this one was held in Holland on Sept. 28, drawing a crowd of nearly 300 people. Both the Grand Haven and Holland meetings will lead up to the Ottawa Area Summit on Racism on Feb 13 at Hope College.

Harrison explained that the panelists were selected because they each have a story to tell, which may not be a visible story to the community.

“We also have a Caucasian panelist because that is also a story to tell,” Harrison said.

The town meeting will begin with three of the panelists explaining how racism has affected their experience in this community.

The other three panelists will share what could be done for them to feel valued and comfortable in the community.