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Spalding University Discussion Focuses on Contemporary Racism

Shannon Cambron wants an upcoming conversation at Spalding University on contemporary racism to continue long after Tuesday evening's panel discussion concludes.

Cambron, director of undergraduate education for the school of social work at Spalding University, said the panel discussion is not debate on whether racism still exists, but a conversation-starter about how to address the issue.

“This is the beginning event, as far as we are concerned, of what will ripple through a yearlong dialogue process throughout the community,” she said.

“Racism still very much exists,” she said.  “We may not have the violent, physical aggression acts, but we have constant acts of micro-aggression that are still underlying currents in our community.”

Cambron will be joined by other panelists, including Rabbi Dr. Nadia Siritsky, Judge Joan Byer, Shawn Gardner, Rashaad Abdur-Rahman and Dr. Mistalene Calleroz-White from Spalding University.

“It’s a very diverse panel and I think there will be individuals, no matter what your perspective is, there will be folks that you will able to connect with,” Cambron said.

The idea for the discussion came after the high-profile deaths of unarmed African-American men by police in Ferguson, Missouri, to New York City.  But other, less recognizable events also led to the panel discussion.

“It really sprung out of the need to help our students identify an issue and respond to an issue,” she said.

And people who attend the event will also leave with “action steps,” Cambron said.

“Folks who come to the panel will leave with four or five specific things that they can take away, choose what fits them best and begin to implement them in their everyday life, maybe call to action those around them,” she said.  “Our goal is that there will be additional dialogue that will come.”

The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Egan Leadership Center on Spalding University’s campus, 901 S.Fourth St.

Jacob Ryan joined LPM in 2014. Ryan is originally from Eddyville, Kentucky. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.