The subject of racism in our country continues to be in the news almost daily. The Multiracial Awareness Discussion Group (MADG) planning committee has been hard at work over the summer to develop new programs for the coming year, 2019-2020. The participant evaluations that were completed in June 2019 for last year’s MADG curriculum were extremely positive and very helpful to our planning efforts. Many people indicated they wanted to “go deeper” into the subject of racism as well as feeling we should continue to focus on basic history and education.

We therefore plan to offer two MADG programs in 2019-2020, the first during the fall months and the second program during the winter/spring months. The fall MADG program will take place in the auditorium starting in October and will follow a different format from last year. There will be a longer video of about one hour, followed by group discussion. These videos will include some of the little-known history of racism in our country and show how this history still influences our institutions today. In the MADG program for the winter and spring months we are considering returning to our study of various topics in our history through facilitated small group discussions.

Each time people ask the question — “what can we do about racism?” — the answer from experts is to study our history of racism to help understand how we got to where we are today. History helps us look at all the systems that perpetuate racism, often without saying a word about race. We can make a difference by learning about our history and by talking with others who are concerned about racial injustice, but who may be unaware of the depth and consequences of the problem.

MADG Planning Committee Changes

We have had some changes to our MADG planning committee. We grieve the loss of Charlestown resident, Bill Ray, and feel extremely privileged to have known him and had his invaluable presence and wisdom. He will be greatly missed. In his place, we welcome Bernice DeBels to the committee this year.

Joan Green is taking a well-deserved rest from the co-facilitator role but will continue to participate on the committee and in all our programs. A big thank you to Joan for an incredible amount of time, energy and wisdom. Speaking of wisdom, Eugenia Collier has agreed to take the co-facilitator role. Her encouragement and deep commitment to this work is a real source of inspiration. The 2019-2020 MADG planning committee includes: co-facilitators Lois Schmidt and Eugenia Collier, plus members Kate Boucher, Barbara Carlisle, Bernice DeBels, Gil Fisher, Joan Green, Tony Hansen, and Carol Tilles.

Thanks to the committee for agreeing to continue this important work and to all of you who are attending the meetings of this discussion group. We encourage anyone who is concerned about racial injustice to participate and we look forward to the coming year. If you have questions, comments or concerns please discuss it with anyone on the committee or direct them to Lois Schmidt or Eugenia Collier. Please check the Resident Directory in MyErickson for contact information.