“When the roots of thought are observed, thought itself seems to change for the better.” – David Bohn
The model for this program was created more than 20 years ago by former YWCA Board President, Maxine Crump. She worked with YWCA past board presidents, community organizations, like Louisiana Council on Human Relations and professors of history, political science and sociology from both LSU and Southern University to develop a structured program of six two-hour weekly sessions based on scholarly reading materials. This program is led by a bi-racial team of trained facilitators. From DORLA’S inception, Maxine Crump has remained involved in a leadership role in Dialogue at all levels, including training facilitators.
The process was managed by community volunteers until it was used as the basis for the Baton Rouge Town Meeting program, “What Color is Community?” in 1994. Following the Town Meeting, the program gained momentum and community interest, and in the year 2000, the YWCA of Greater Baton Rouge picked up the series. In 2008, it won a national award for racial justice from the YWCA. While hosted by the YWCA of Greater Baton Rouge, it was led by Roberta Madden until her retirement in 2009. Afterward, volunteers decided to cast off on their own, and Dialogue on Race Louisiana was chartered as its own entity in November 2011.
This was a wonderful experience which I felt really brought home the concepts of institutional racism and white privilege. Our group was soon comfortable with each other and able to have an open dialogue on these tough concepts via the guidance of our two wonderful moderators. I strongly recommend this to anyone who wants to understand how racism is having an impact on people of color in the modern world.
- Heather M.
The Dialogue on Race series has been one of the most significant learning experiences I've ever had the pleasure to be a part of. I highly recommend it to anyone who's seriously interested in having an open and honest dialogue (not debate) on race and who also wants to play their role in dismantling racism in our community.
- Eric D.