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Shaw University’s Center for Racial and Social Justice Announces First Courageous Community Conversations Listening Session

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Courageous Community Conversations includes a series of four listening sessions on areas of importance to the citizens of Raleigh

RALEIGH, NC—Today Shaw University announces its Center for Racial and Social Justice will host the first Courageous Community Conversations listening session on Thursday, August 19, 2021, at 7:00 p.m. The event will be streamed live on Zoom, and attendees may register here.

Courageous Community Conversations represents a partnership between the City of Raleigh and the Shaw University Center for Racial and Social Justice (CRSJ). Over the next two months, the CRSJ will host a total of four sessions seeking citizen input. These sessions will include the following topics: discrimination, affordable housing, education, access to transportation, employment opportunities, policing, and mental health. Due to COVID-19 concerns, the four listening sessions with be virtual with citizens able to submit questions and thoughts.

This first listening session will focus on various areas of discrimination including race, gender, sexual orientation, and disabilities. Event panelists include Vicki Smith, Alliance of Disability Advocates; Gerald Givens, Raleigh/Apex NAACP; Nancy Petty, Pullen Memorial Baptist Church; Ana Blackburn, Poor People’s Campaign of NC and Latinx Liaison for NAACP. Dr. Erin Moore, Executive Director of the Center for Racial and Social Justice along with Dr. Johnny Hill, Dean of the Shaw University Divinity School will moderate.

“Shaw University is very excited to engage with these Community Conversations with the City of Raleigh. To enact meaningful change, it is important to find out the areas of most concern to Raleigh citizens, stated Dr. Erin Moore, Executive Director of the CRSJ. “How are they impacted by discrimination? How do we build community with such diverse perspectives? How can the city of Raleigh enact meaningful change? It is these questions and many more that we hope to highlight with our Community Conversations. We’ve had a great partner with the City of Raleigh and hope that this dialogue can serve as a model for other cities across the country.”

“The City of Raleigh is thrilled to be partnering with Shaw University and its Center for Racial and Social Justice on this critically important endeavor,” said Raleigh Assistant City Manager Evan Raleigh. “I am hopeful that this series of Community Conversations will result in actionable steps that will help make Raleigh a community where all feel welcomed and are in position to thrive.”

The goal of these listening sessions is to develop a plan to guide changes to current programs and develop new programs—all intended to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Raleigh.


About the Center for Racial and Social Justice

The Center for Racial and Social Justice (CRSJ) will affect meaningful social change by supporting students’ engagement around civil and human rights, spiritual formation, discernment, and social justice. The CRSJ also supports the development of healthy congregations and communities. 

Through lectures, workshops, seminars, certificate programs, forums and advocacy work, the CRSJ offers a space for and support the development of bold, visionary leadership. The CRSJ creates a robust ecology of students, faculty, staff, alumni, community leaders, corporate and private partners to address urgent societal issue related to race and racism, environmental and climate justice, social inequities, health, violence, and broader issues of human differences.

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