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Panel relates local experiences with race

April 30, 2010

KALAMAZOO--A panel discussion focusing on local residents' experiences with race and ethnicity as told to teenage interviewers will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 4. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be in the Multicultural Center of the Trimpe Building at Western Michigan University.

The presentation is one of several events planned to highlight issues on race and lead up to the Oct. 2 opening of the national exhibit "RACE: Are We So Different?" set to run for three months at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum in downtown Kalamazoo.

The panel will showcase the work of Western Michigan University journalism students, area high school students and students from Kalamazoo College, who participated in producing video and online interviews in a joint project of the Southwest Michigan Black Heritage Society and the WMU School of Communication. The project was funded by the Kalamazoo Community Foundation and will include a booklet to be published later this spring. The student interviews with local residents about race and ethnicity can be read at raceexhibit.org.

Community residents such as Andrea Juarez, along with local historian Tom Dietz and Dr. Kathleen Wong, WMU professor of communication, will participate in the moderated panel discussion and invite audience input.

For information about this event, contact Donna Odom, Southwest Michigan Black Heritage Society, at (269) 873-2327 or Sue Ellen Christian, WMU School of Communication, at sueellen.christian@wmich.edu. To learn more about the RACE exhibit and area events related to it, visit raceexhibit.org.

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Media contact: Deanne Puca, (269) 387-8400, deanne.puca@wmich.edu

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