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Virtual convening of The People’s Gathering to facilitate timely conversations about race

Virtual convening of The People’s Gathering to facilitate timely conversations about race

Posted by:
October 30, 2020
By Silong Chhun
PLU Marketing and Communications

On November 18, Pacific Lutheran University’s Campus Ministry and Center for Graduate and Continuing Education will be co-hosting a virtual edition of The People's Gathering, a dialogue-based event series focusing in-depth on the topic of race.

The People’s Gathering is a professional and personal development learning experience that provides a supportive space in which participants can engage in frank and open dialogue about race and racial disparities systemically present in work, school, and everyday life. Speakers and facilitators invited to participate include local and national leaders from Indigenous, Asian, Pacific Islander, Black, Hispanic, and Latino communities. 

This fall’s virtual convening is in anticipation of the impact of the upcoming U.S. Presidential election, COVID-19, and recognizing that this will be an important time to be organized in conversation as a community. Regardless of the election outcome, this is a supportive space to talk, listen, and heal” says Melannie Denise Cunningham, PLU director of multicultural outreach and engagement, and producer for the event.

This edition of the People’s Gathering will welcome a keynote speech from Rep. Pramila Jayapal. Elected in 2016, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal is now serving her second term in Congress, representing Washington’s 7th District, which encompasses most of Seattle and its surrounding areas. She is the first South Asian American woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and one of only 14 naturalized citizens currently serving in the United States Congress.

“If you want to prepare people to engage in real talk now, the People’s Gathering is the place to be,” says Dr. Karen Johnson, equity and inclusion administrator for the Washington State Department of Corrections. Our agency looks forward to sending staff to each and every gathering.”

Holly Bamford Hunt, executive director of the Bamford Foundation, agrees. “The People’s Gatherings offers a powerful space to learn, reflect on privilege, and engage in honest race dialogues to support actions for justice,” says Bamford Hunt. 

“The Bamford Foundation is honored to continue to support The People’s Gathering events at PLU as we recognize that talking about race, and addressing the traumatic impacts of systemic racism upon people in our community, is more important than ever: in our workplaces, in our neighborhoods, and in our homes.”

For more information and to register please visit plu.edu/continuing-ed/tpg-2/