Press release: GRCC sponsors Race, Ethnicity and Identity Conference

Kathy Mullins
Executive Deputy to the President and Board Liaison

March 15, 2013  GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Latino voting in the 2012 election, “The Color of Christ,” and a roundtable discussion on Hispanic education in West Michigan will all be part of this year’s Race, Ethnicity and Identity Conference at Grand Rapids Community College.

The Race, Ethnicity and Identity Conference, scheduled for March 25 to 28, is sponsored by GRCC, its Social Sciences Department and the International Geographical Honor Society.

Dr. Edward Blum, a San Diego State University historian of race and religion in the United States, will provide the keynote address, “The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America,” at 7 p.m. March 28.

A roundtable discussion on Hispanic education in West Michigan on March 27, at 2 p.m., will draw on the knowledge of many Grand Rapids area experts.  The roundtable will include: Grand Rapids school board member Tony Baker, of Ferris State University’s Center of Latin Studies; Rosa Fraga, principal of San Juan Diego Academy; John Matias, Arbor Circle’s community school coordinator at Burton Elementary and Middle School; and Martha Gonzalez-Cortes, CEO of the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan.

“This annual event is an opportunity for students and community members alike to connect with GRCC faculty and experts from around the world who focus on issues of race, ethnicity and identity,” said history Professor Mike Light.

“GRCC upholds a high standard for teaching both critical thinking skills and social responsibility skills. At the end of this conference, attendees should be prepared to practice community engagement that addresses environmental responsibility, social justice, and cultural diversity.”

A full schedule of events is available here ( ).  All events, which are free and open to the public, will be held in room 108 (multipurpose room) of Sneden Hall, 415 Fulton St.

Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for over 30,000 students annually in degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops and personal enrichment classes. GRCC holds classes on the downtown Grand Rapids campus as well as several additional locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.