2001-02-07 Lakeshore Press Summit on Racism sign-up exceeds expectation

Summit on Racism sign-up exceeds expectation
Lakeshore Press

Organizers planning Ottawa County’s first Summit on Racism want to fashion a vibrant community that’s more inclusive. That’s why they say it pained them Tuesday to announce they will have to exclude people who haven’t already registered for the Feb. 13 event at Hope College.

A flood of registrations came in this week, swelling the expected crowd to 550 by midday Tuesday. Few more can be accepted because of space limitations. “We have gone well past our hoped-for number of 400,” said Gail Harrison, executive director of the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance.

“While we would like to accommodate more, we simply won’t be able to in the facilities that are available.” Mailed registrations postmarked by Feb. 5 will be accepted. Phone and online registrations are closed. No walk-in registrations will be allowed.

The summit will be broadcast live on MAC-TV. Harrison said LEDA and collaborating organizations are thrilled at the interest in the issue of racism and the willingness of local people to participate in action teams to develop strategies for promoting racial unity in community life.

People who cannot attend the summit can still volunteer to participate with action teams in the months to come, Harrison said. The summit is the first large event in a five-year process to overcome barriers to inclusion in business, education, government, faith communities, health care, community groups and the media.

Other participating groups include Latin Americans United for Progress, the African American Support Group/COBB Community Center and the Alliance for Cultural and Ethnic Harmony.