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Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: Having a real conversation about race

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Mar 18, 2014 3:06 PM

What to look for on Smart Talk Wednesday, March 19, 2014:

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Many Americans are uncomfortable talking about race or racial differences.  It's one of the reasons there's still mistrust between some people from different racial backgrounds.  A lack of understanding can contribute to subtle, unconscious, or overt racism.

Those are a few of the reasons a pilot project conducted by the YWCA of Greater Harrisburg is so important. 

"Let's Talk: A Conversation about Race" is a six-week project that sought to facilitate dialogue "to help participants unpack the ways racism manifests itself at the personal, organizational, and systemic levels and provide tools for taking action to deconstruct racism."

Three of the 26 participants appear on Wednesday's Smart Talk.  Joining us are Pat Gadsden, Founder and Director of Life Esteem and a facilitator of the project; Tara Leo Auchey, Creator and Editor of Today's the Day Harrisburg; and Rev. Cedra Washington, Pastor at Harrisburg Brethren in Christ Church and a member of the YWCA's Racial Justice Committee.

We'll find out what was learned from the project and what suggestions came out of it to reduce racism.

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Pastor Cedra Washington, Pat Gadsden, Tara Leo Auchey

Listen to the program:

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Comments: 5

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-03-19 08:22


    Nick from York emails:

    I think your guest's comments on the importance of leadership raises an interesting question. I have experience working for the YWCA of York, which for the last 5-7 years has been facing racial discrimination and EEOC suits because of their treatment of minorities in the workplace. In my time there working in a management role, it was my observation that minorities only occupied the lowest paying positions and had absolutely no presence above lower level management. Can your guests comment on what the YWCA is doing internal to combat racism?
    Thanks!

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-03-19 08:42

    Elizabeth emails:

    Hi Scott,
    When one travels to Europe, in France & UK, for example, the folks all speak with the same accent, if you don’t see the face of who is speaking, you do not know they are of a different race.
    On the contrast, here, in USA, you can identify someone, when they speak, without looking at their faces, almost always, with a very few exceptions.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-03-19 08:44

    Blaine emails:

    I have seen people judge my children (adopted from China), I was aware of racism before but this has helped me become more vocal against racism. It would be nice if we could have county wide school districts. I think that would help as we might be able to reduce white flight.

  • Ling Dinse img 2014-03-19 08:57

    Thank-you so much for conducting such an important conversation! Covert racism such as consumer profiling is not an uncommon experience for me as an Asian American in Lancaster County.
    A research found an increasing percentage of survey respondents opt not to answer the
    question on racial attitudes stating they have “no interest” in the issue (Krysan, 2011). What does that
    mean when a society is no longer interested in engaging in dialogue regarding racial
    issues? Where can people of color express their thoughts and feelings about racism
    when there is no place for dialogue? The minimization and denial of racial concerns is
    a form of racism. “Modern racism is manifested by not understanding or denying the differential impacts of social, political, economic,historical, and psychological realities on the lives of people of color and whites, minimizing the influence of such variables on all our lives and institutions. (Batts, 2002,pp.53-54)” 
    Thank-you, Smart Talk, for being honest and brave in discussing an important issue in our society.
    References:
    Batts, Valerie (2002). Is Reconciliation Possible? Lessons From Combating “MODERN RACISM”. In Waging Reconciliation: God's Mission in a Time of Globalization and Crisis (pp.35-74). New York, NY: Church Publishing.
    Krysan, Maria (2011). “Data Update to Racial Attitudes in America.” An update and
    website to complement Racial Attitudes in America: Trends and Interpretations,
    Revised Edition, Schuman, Steehm, Bobo, & Krysan , 1997. Harvard University Press.
    Retrieved March 19, 2014. http://igpa.uillinois.edu.

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