2004-04-11 Holland Sentinel "Racism topic of program"

Racism topic of program
The HollandSentinel

Institutes for Healing Racism starts its third run in the Holland area Thursday, aiming to teach participants about the role of racism in contemporary America.

The eight-week program, co-sponsored by the Holland Area Chamber of Commerce and the Lakeshore EthnicDiversity Alliance, covers issues such as the effects of racism, the development of racial prejudice and racism in U.S. culture and institutionalized racism.

"Everybody is talking about inclusion and minorities are a great market to explore," said Teresa Lamb, a chamber workforce specialist. "Participants want to know more about being inclusive and explore issues that are perceived as barriers and how to overcome them."

The program is open to all people of all ethnic and social backgrounds.

The Institutes started in Holland three years ago after the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance approached the chamber about a joint sponsorship.

One of the two facilitators, Aaron Hillard, assistant human resources director at Muskegon Community College, said the program can offer participants new perspectives.

Participants are encouraged to bring everyday examples from the media of how racism is dealt with. The class then discusses the examples and exchange ideas, Hillard said.

The event costs $80 per person and will run every Thursday from 3 to 5 p.m. through June 3.

For more information, contact Lamb at (616) 392-9720.