posted January 17, 2008

Events Designed to Build Awareness of Racism

 A series of events at Hope College on Monday-Friday, Jan. 21-25, has been scheduled to raise awareness of racism.

The "Hope 6" program is aimed at confronting and combating issues of hatred, and to build awareness of recent acts of racism, including the Jena 6 noose hangings in Louisiana in 2006, and will feature an activity each day.

The public is invited to all of the events. Admission is free.

The program will begin on Monday, Jan. 21, at 10:30 a.m., during the college's chapel service in Dimnent Memorial Chapel. Paul Boersma, who is the Leonard and Marjorie Maas Endowed Senior Chaplain at Hope, will address the theme and highlight Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as an example of how the Christian community must respond to acts of hatred. In addition, six members of the campus community who volunteered in advance will be "arrested" and tasked with collecting donations in order to make "bail" by the end of the week. All proceeds will donated to Core City LEAP of Holland.

During a panel discussion on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 4 p.m., faculty, staff and student panelists will engage the community in a reflection of local and national issues of racism, discuss where things stand today and offer suggestions for the future. The event will take place in the Fried/Hemenway Auditorium of the Martha Miller Center for Global Communication.

A time of meditation and prayer has been scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 23, at noon in the Multicultural Lounge of Phelps Hall.

On Thursday, Jan. 24, Hope faculty and students will convene separately at 4 p.m. to discuss and develop steps that the campus can take to prevent and respond to issues of racism. The faculty discussion will take place in the DeWitt Center Herrick Room, and the student discussion will take place in the Phelps Hall Otte Room.

Friday, Jan. 25, will feature a fund-raising effort in the DeWitt Center Kletz on behalf of Core City LEAP. The "Hope 6" participants will conclude their bail-raising activity from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., and a karaoke contest will follow from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The "Hope 6" program is coordinated by the college's Office of Multicultural Education and Campus Ministries Office, as well as by the Black Student Union, Hope's Asian Perspective and La Raza Unida student organizations.

The DeWitt Center is located at 141 E. 12th Street, at 12th Street and Columbia Avenue. Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located at 277 College Ave., at College Avenue and 12th Street. The Martha Miller Center for Global Communication is located at 257 Columbia Ave., at Columbia Avenue and 10th Street. Phelps Hall is located at 154 E. 10th St., and Columbia Avenue and 10th Street.