On Feb. 5-6, 2015, the university came together to explore critical issues facing our community. Here, you can experience what transpired that day—a day that marked the beginning of a dialogue and work that must continue. We invite you to be part of this ongoing process.

Over the course of 25 hours, the subjects of race and ethnicity were explored through the lens of the five themes summarized below. Watch the videos, be inspired and continue the conversation.

  • Small group of people talking intently

Our greatest hope is that this experience is meaningful and insightful, and that it helps us grow as individuals and as a university.
~ Chancellor Mark Wrighton

Thursday, February 5

Tales to Astonish: Why Race Matters and Why It Shouldn’t
The event began on the Medical School Campus with Chancellor Mark Wrighton and Dean of the School of Medicine Larry Shapiro providing an introduction. Special guest and Distinguished Professor Gerald Early followed and spoke of historical contexts for social understandings of race. His storytelling set the stage for the 25-hour event. Chairman of the Department of Medicine Victoria Fraser then led the panel discussion and an open forum. | Watch the Videos

Friday, February 6

The Social Construction of Race and Ethnicity
After breakfast and welcomes from Chancellor Mark Wrighton and Provost Holden Thorp, the day began with insight from session leader, Professor Adrienne Davis who facilitated the panel and open forum conversation that focused on the social construction of race and what this means in everyday life. | Watch the Videos

Race and Ethnicity in Everyday Life
This session was led by Professor Vetta Sanders Thompson. The panel was comprised of students and faculty from various schools as well as members of the audience. They discussed how race impacts social and psychological health, how networks are a key determinant in success and that oftentimes minorities don’t have access to powerful networks. | Watch the Videos

Moving Beyond Stereotypes
Professor Kimberly Norwood moderated this panel about how to see beyond stereotypes. She compared it to losing weight or quitting smoking. “You must zero in on the problem and then consciously, consciously focus on changing it,” she said. Panelists talked about the importance of empathy, how stereotypes intersect and different strategies for talking about race. | Watch the Videos

The Future and Our University Community
The final session was facilitated by Provost Holden Thorp and gave participants the opportunity to reflect and comment on the discoveries and dialogues that took place over the course of the previous 24 hours. The conversation focused on how to move forward with ongoing discussions as well as action steps that addressed the day’s themes. | Watch the Videos

Continue the Conversation

We invite you to be inspired by what you experience here.

Download the Conversation Guide.