Tonight, WHYY — in conjunction with WURD, the American Bible Society, and Philadelphia Media Network — will host “Courageous Conversations: Race at the Crossroads.” The free event centers on the topic some people hesitate to weigh in on.
“Nobody here will doubt or have a problem with saying that the world we’re living in — especially our nation — is very divided right now,” Arthur Satterwhite, the Senior Manager of Coalition Partnerships with American Bible Society, said. He is one of the event’s organizers.
“You have people with different backgrounds, ideologies, religious, political [beliefs] and most of the time we’re taking past each other,” he said. “Sometimes it takes a courageous conversation. Sometimes it takes us to lean in to the awkwardness and discomfort that happens around issues like this.”
Satterwhite says that people often lose the ability to empathize when it comes to race, adding that people often devalue other people’s experiences.
“The social construct of race, unfortunately, sometimes leaves us at a disadvantage of being able to see and value someone who may look like me,” he said. “For black people and white people, we’re at that point where we had the Civil Rights Movement back in the 1950s and 60s; we passed laws between now and then, we’ve desegregated; all these positive contributions to our society.
“Yet, and still, we’re still seeing — some would argue, we’re seeing increasing — division over these last few years,” he added. “The question is, ‘what are we going to do about it?'”
The event will be moderated by Dan K. Williams, the Director of Urban Initiatives at the Biblical Seminary and will feature a panel of author and activist Shane Claiborne; Marybeth Gasman, Professor of Higher Education at the University of Pennsylvania; Howard Stevenson, Professor of Urban Education and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania; and Errin Whack an Urban Affairs Reporter for The Associated Press.
The event is from at 6:30-8:30 p.m. tonight at WHYY. The Event will be livestreamed at newsworks.org/race
To hear Jennifer Lynn’s interview with Arthur Satterwhite, press play at the top of the page.