Community Wide Dialogue to End Racism
a Program of the
Harriet Tubman Center for Justice & Peace, Inc.
of Auburn and Cayuga County, New York
"Structural Racism is defined as the outcome of laws, policies, practices, and procedures that produce racial inequalities by institutions and systems, whether or not the individual carrying out these practices has racist intentions."
CWD of Auburn & Cayuga County is based on the Syracuse, NY model: Syracuse’s Community Wide Dialogue (CWD) to End Racism is the longest consecutively running dialogue program on ending racism in the United States (14 years). CWD builds relationships and creates a forum for action among people who may not otherwise have the opportunity to meet, work, and learn from one another. We forge racial and ethnic healing that leads to community action and understanding.
What is the “essence” of our work? The program utilizes a form of deliberative democracy, the study circle, to help adults and youth of diverse backgrounds breakdown misconceptions about race and ethnicity, and to work towards complementary action throughout our community to end racial inequity. Discussion topics include stereotyping and its origins, the meaning of white privilege, structural racism and its ramifications, and the power of being an ally. Adult group size is between eight and fifteen, and all groups are led by two trained volunteer facilitators during six two-hour sessions.
Who do we serve? CWD serves a broad array of people, ages eight to eighty, of all races, nationalities, and religions. In Auburn we will focus on adults and mature young people initially. Our projects bring together corporate and community leadership, urban and suburban youth, and general adult populations.
How does CWD make a difference in our community? The program, through a safe and effective process, influences opinions, changes attitudes, enhances knowledge, and forges stronger community cooperation among dialogue participants as they work to heal close-minded viewpoints and create joint projects to address problems together. Through the Harriet Tubman Center for Justice & Peace we also serve as a resource, keeping the mission of ending racism on the agenda of many different community groups and building a broad network of organizations to take complementary action on racial justice issues.
Modified from CWD-Syracuse - Interfaith Works web site http://www.interfaithworkscny.org/programs/cwd/