The 2023 Conversations on Race will be held in person at The Woodland (60 Woodland Rd., Maplewood) on Tuesday, May 16 at 7:30 pm and the focus of our learning and discussion will be Rethinking the Racial Wealth Gap. We will learn what the racial wealth gap is; how it has been created and is perpetuated by laws and policies; and, how we witness this gap in our personal experiences. We will also think through the narratives that mask the racial wealth gap and consider ideas for sustainable solutions.
We are excited to announce the panel and moderator that will lead this year's conversation! This group has deep knowledge and experience with the topic of the racial wealth gap and can speak to specific issues that we face here in New Jersey:
- Laura Sullivan, Director, Economic Justice Program at NJISJ
- Catherine Connelly, Director of Research Engagement, United for ALICE, United Way NJ
- Darrell W Gunter, adjunct professor in the W. Paul Stillman School of Business & host of the radio program "Leadership with Darrell W Gunter" at Seton Hall University
- Rhea Mokund-Beck, Director of People and Culture, ACLU New Jersey
Laura Sullivan is an experienced policy researcher who specializes in analyzing the long-term financial well-being and vulnerabilities of households, with a particular focus on assets and racial wealth disparities. Learn more about her work and the NJ Institute for Social Justice here. Catherine Connelly contributes to the research, writing, and development of reports and tools for United For ALICE--a United Way program that provides a comprehensive and unbiased picture of financial hardship in the US with an eye toward innovative solutions. Darrell W. Gunter is an experienced publishing executive and adjunct professor in the Stillman School of Business who released Transforming Scholarly Publishing with Blockchain Technologies and AI in 2021. Rhea Beck will be the panel moderator: she serves as the Director of People and Culture at the ACLU of New Jersey, is a former trustee of the Community Coalition on Race, and is a leader in social justice and equity advocacy.
The focus for the annual Conversations on Race each year is explorative conversation among attendees, facilitated by trained leaders, to learn one another's perspectives and experiences and to work toward action steps. This year we will hear ideas from our panelists, have small group discussions, and then share ideas with and pose questions to the panelists. Past Conversations on Race topics have included implicit bias, racial equity in education, the academic achievement gap, race and privilege, white supremacy, the invention of race, and most recently, critical race theory. The goal is always the same: to bring residents together in a safe space for facilitated dialogues where we talk about race to increase understanding, build relationships across racial and cultural divides, and develop potential solutions and action steps to create a stronger community.