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SU, M&T Bank, National Grid present Fifth Annual Duck Race to End Racism June 9 at Inner Harbor
SU, M&T Bank, National Grid present Fifth Annual Duck Race to End Racism June 9 at Inner HarborMay 23, 2007Matthew R. Snydermrsnyder@syr.edu
On Saturday, June 9, InterFaith Works’ Community-Wide Dialogue to End Racism (CWD) will host the Fifth Annual Duck Race to End Racism, from noon-4 p.m. at the Syracuse Inner Harbor. Syracuse University, M&T Bank and National Grid are presenting sponsors of this year’s event, which raises funds and awareness of CWD, a community program that has engaged thousands of people in frank, productive conversations about race and ethnicity in its 10-year history.
The duck race, geared toward families and community members, will include food, music, games, performances by local schoolchildren and educational celebrations of Central New York’s diversity. The event is free and open to the public; Byrne Dairy provides free ice cream. Judy Hamilton, assistant professor of sociology and director of the Intergroup Dialogue Program, is co-chairing this year’s duck race.
Among the day’s highlights will be the racing of thousands of rubber ducks down Onondaga Creek. Members of the University community and public who wish to sponsor a duck in the race may do so by contacting Marissa Willingham in the Office of Multicultural Affairs, 443-9676; for $5, duck sponsors are entered for the chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree and more.
Other “heats” of racing ducks will feature the artistic interpretations of dozens of third-grade classrooms from across Central New York and the racing of ducks from corporate and nonprofit sponsors, including SU. This year’s SU entry is being decorated under the artistic direction of Martha Sutter, assistant dean in the College of Visual and Performing Arts.
In the days leading up to the race, CWD has organized a “name the duck” contest for all members of the Central New York community; details are available at http://syracuseduckrace.org.
CWD was established by InterfaithWorks of Central New York (formerly the InterReligious Council) in 1996 to provide a safe and effective process for young people and adults from a variety of racial, ethnic, religious, socio-economic and ideological backgrounds to talk about and work on issues of racism and race relations. At the heart of the CWD is the dialogue circle: a group of eight to 14 people who meet for six consecutive weeks for two-hour sessions led by a team of two racially diverse, trained facilitators using a discussion guide that provides structure for the session. CWD offers dialogue circles throughout the year, reaching more than 800 people per year. More information on the duck race and CWD are available online at http://syracuseduckrace.org.
“Syracuse University is involved in the Community-Wide Dialogue to End Racism because we share its goals and because academic excellence demands that students, faculty and staff be able to engage in, respect and appreciate diversity in all its forms,” says James K. Duah-Agyeman, SU’s chief diversity officer and the director of student support and diversity education/multicultural affairs. “SU continues to grow these opportunities for its faculty, staff and students through a variety of Intergroup Dialogue Program initiatives on campus and in collaboration with national research projects. And we are all better for it. It is only in talking to each other that we get to know one another and thus get rid of our fears and apprehensions about each other.”
SU offers a number of Intergroup Dialogue opportunities to students, faculty and staff, including the Office of Residence Life- and Office of Multicultural Affairs-sponsored Conversations About Race and Ethnicity Dialogues in residence halls; courses in dialogue; train-the-trainer trainings; the annual Raising our Voices Diversity Institute for high school students; participation in the national Multi-University Project on Intergroup Dialogue; and staff dialogue circles provided by the Office of Human Resources. For more information, visit http://intergroupdialogue.syr.edu.