New public affairs show to keep spotlight on diversity, finding solutions

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SCHENECTADY — Despite a flurry of forums, talks and events designed to expose racism and find solutions this summer and fall, the conversation is only beginning for a group seeking to chip away at social injustice.

Diversity, inclusion and equity will be the focus of a new weekly community affairs program that will debut next month on a variety of media platforms.

The program, dubbed “Community Conversations,” is the latest project by the Capital Region Antiracism Training Initiative, which fostered a series of initiatives this summer, including a 21-day challenge designed to get people to start thinking about racism and diversity.

“We’ve tried to build on each previous program,” said Denise Murphy McGraw, founder of the Capital Region Antiracism Training Initiative. “So we thought the best way to continue that would be to highlight the work going on in the community specifically as it relates to anti-racism and racial disparities — and especially how they touch on different issues.”

McGraw believes demand is still high: Over 20,000 people participated in the initiative’s debut event, a roundtable discussion featuring Ibram X. Kendi, author of the New York Times bestseller “How to Be an Antiracist.”

And a series of Zoom sessions conducted as part of the effort’s Allyship Institute also generated interest on topics like food deserts and how to raise anti-racist kids.

“Community Conversations” will launch on Jan. 12, at 7 p.m. The program will be broadcast on Collaborative Studios’ platforms and hosted by McGraw and Dr. Hayward Horton, professor of sociology at SUNY Albany.

McGraw hailed her co-host as someone skilled at the gift of gab.

“The sessions he facilitated for us made very difficult topics accessible, interesting, and easy to understand,” McGraw said.

A chief component of the program is highlighting the work that various organizations are doing in the community — not just those limited to addressing things like racism and implicit bias, but social services providers, for instance.

“We might provide the inspiration to join an organization and fight the good fight for them,” McGraw said.

IF YOU WATCH:

“Community Conversations” can be viewed on the following platforms:

  • Through apps on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Roku, which can be downloaded for free by searching for Collaborative Studios on those devices;
  • Open Stage Media is also rebranding its Arts and Education channel to Collaborative Studios in Albany and Schenectady (Spectrum channel 1302 and Verizon Fios channel 37);
  • Content will soon be available through Collaborative Media’s YouTube app;
  • Collaborative Studios and Capital Region Antiracism Training Institute Facebook pages.

Viewer input is valued: The program will engage the community by calling for questions each week through social media and their listserv, organizers said.

Categories: Fulton Montgomery Schoharie, News, Schenectady County

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