Conversations On Race Now (CORN) was founded six years a go by Vivian Mason and Susan Linskey as a direct result of attending a weekend seminar presented by The Peoples Institute for Survival and Beyond [organized by the Peace & Justice Center].  As mothers of children of color, their experiences with all aspects of racism and feeling a sense of isolation and silence around race/racism in our culture, they were drawn together to create a mechanism to create communications.

CORN was born from this desire to have folks engage in talks about their life experiences and share with one another in a safe, supportive, non-threatening environment.  The key element of CORN is to provide safety for people of different backgrounds, ages and ethnicity in order to have genuine conversations. Their goal is to bring people together, build community, and become comfortable talking about race ourselves and with others.

Susan and Vivian provide a structure, respectful guidance and emotional connections. The next planned CORN event is the second part of an event presented in October, “Voices of Youth”—in a restorative circle.  This April 25th event will be the “Listening to Voices of Parents” —in a restorative circle, with audience participation.

The keynote speaker for this event is Robert L. Walsh, noted author, graduate of Colgate and MA from UVM. Bob retired from the USMC as Lt. Colonel, served as a member of the Vermont House of Representatives, adjunct faculty at UVM, and taught Africa American Studies at South Burlington H.S. His life experience in these areas has afforded him a wide range of experience as related to racism in our state, country and throughout the military world. His stories as a real life witness express the true nature of what it was like, what we see today and what the vision for our future may hold as we explore undoing racism in our community.

The majority of this event will be hearing from parents in our community as they engage in facilitated dialogue addressing their experiences in relationship to race/racism in their lives. Kiah Ellis, will be the events’ facilitator, he is an undergraduate student, pursuing a history/philosophy degree at UVM, a competitive snowboarder, and was a member of the youth circle in October.

Listening to the Voices of Parents”
(in a restorative circle)
Place: Ohavi Zedek Synagogue
188 North Prospect , Burlington
Thursday, April 25, 2013
7:15-9:00 pm
(with audience participation)
Contact information: [email protected]

This program airs on Channel 17:
Wednesday May 15, 2013 at 2:15 PM
Wednesday May 15, 2013 at 11:00 PM
Thursday May 16, 2013 at 4:00 AM
Thursday May 16, 2013 at 10:00 AM