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2012 Spring Community Institute


A class of fifteen community members completed an 8-Week Institute for Racial Healing provided by the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance from March 13 to May 08 . The venue was provided by Grand Valley State University Meijer Campus

Participant Feedback

I learned about the impact of aversive racism.

The Institute has helped me understand my responsibility to address this issue in my organization and take action.

I have a better understanding of how my actions can make a giant impact on someone else.

I learned that bias is present and needs to be acknowledged.

I learned that aversive racism is real and exists in all of us.

Racism grows due to the fear of loosing power and privilege.

The Institute makes us a stronger community when we are on the same page and can work towards a common goal.

I now know about aversive racism and its prevalence.

The Institute reawakened me and re-convinced me about the need to address these issues.

The Institute confirms what I see as issues with my church trying to relate to its geographic community.

Participant Action Plans

At the end of the Institute, participants are asked to pledge three tangible personal and institutional activities they can commit to in the months following the course. Below are some examples:

I pledge to broaden by view on different cultures and races.

I pledge to keep a closer eye on my actions and thoughts.

I pledge to pay attention to my internal voice of bias.

I pledge to listen. I will ask a friend of color to help me understand.

I pledge to confront racism and say I and offended by racist comments.

I pledge to educate my children about history.

I pledge to take action and challenge my congregants about aversive racism.

I pledge to seek employment at a place that is committed to cross-cultural work.

I pledge to contract with the Diversity Alliance to hold a training for my entire staff.

I pledge to come back from vacation one day early so I can attend the Lakeshore Region Summit on Race & Inclusion.

I pledge to be more aware of my clients needs and concerns as we work together to solve racial-related issues.