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Posts tagged ‘unconscious bias’

Encountering Differences

Five years ago, a small eastern Connecticut community made headlines for all the wrong reasons. When the town, which is 94 percent white, hosted a high school football game, African American students on the other team were greeted with racial taunts.

Jerry Fisher, who is executive director of the Jewish Federation of Eastern Connecticut, was dismayed not only by the hurtful comments but also by the fact that they went unchallenged.

Attorney Lonnie Braxton, shown here having lunch with students, serves on the board of the New London Public Library, where he runs an annual film festival with significant films relating to African-American history. He has visited nearly every site on the Civil Rights Trail.

“I was anxious to do something to rectify the situation,” Fisher says, “to change things and approach the racism that seemed to be inherent in our towns. It wasn’t the students who were the problem,” he adds. “It was the parents. We wanted to address the way those parents were modeling for their children. And that’s how our program was born.” Read more