2001-01-16 Holland Sentinel Summit on Racism is for all

Summit on Racism is for all
Holland Sentinel

To the Editor:

Although the Sentinel published a fine article about the Martin Luther King service (Sentinel, Sunday), it described the upcoming Ottawa Area Summit on Racism on Feb. 13 at Hope College as a way to make “public officials” aware of racism in the community.

The Summit is for all of us, not just public officials. In addition to two outstanding speakers, Greg Williams and Juan Andrade Jr., there will be workshops for people involved in or interested in business, education, faith communities, healthcare, community groups, and media, as well as government.

That means leaders and employees of corporations, retail stores, and small businesses: persons in real estate, law, and financial institutions; school administrators, teachers, staff, and parents; pastors and people of faith in local congregations; doctors, nurses, hospital administrators, and health care employees; social service agency personnel; persons who direct or take part in our many community organizations; publishers and editors and reporters; and people who hold public office, police and firemen, and other government employees.

Only when our whole community is involved in and committed to breaking down barriers to inclusion for people of color will we be successful. We are not just “talking the talk” at the Summit. We will come away with specific action steps that we-not just public officials-can take to make this a community where all are more valued, respected, and welcomed.

- Ann M. Weller,