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Mayor-Lovely-Warren-web“Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass created Rochester’s identity as a City of Equality. They fought long and hard battles because they wanted those who came behind them to never be seen as unequal in the eyes of the law by virtue of their race or gender. While we have come a long ways, today minorities, women, and the LGBT community still feel like they are unequal. Facing Race, Embracing Equity strives to continue the work of Anthony, Douglass and many others. We, as leaders – particularly in this city – cannot stop pushing for equality until this job is done.” Lovely A. Warren, Mayor City of Rochester

Yolanda-Moses“To date, the RACE: are we so Different” Exhibit has been seen in  more than 50 museums across the United States. In addition to the showing in museums; some museums in partnership with their local communities have taken the material that we have developed and used it in unique and engaging ways. The ‘Facing Race Embracing Equity Initiative’  in Rochester New York is just such a program. Our material is designed for communities to take it and use it to highlight issues of racial concern in their communities. I could not be more pleased with the total community engagement around this material in Rochester. This initiative is exactly what we had in mind for providing tools for helping communities across the nation use our material to take the conversation about race to new and engaging levels of conversation and action. Facing Race Embracing Equity is one of our best national engagement successes.” -Dr. Yolanda Moses, co-creator of the national exhibit, “Race: are we so Different?”

I am riddled with contradictions, inner compromise, racism, passionate resistance, acquiescence. After years of anti-racist work, after attending numerous anti-racist workshops, after scores of conversations about race, race-relations, individual racism and institutional racism, after teaching anti-racist pedagogical principles to pre-service and in-service teachers, the struggle against my inner racism continues. So, you see, I am a racist and will die a racist, but that does not mean I am resigned to let racism within me be at peace. It is a cancer and I choose to fight it until I pass from this earthly realm.” Jim Wood

zappia“I attended FR=EE’s launch event in 2013. I met individuals that day with whom I have continued to work to better understand white privilege and structural racism.  Attending the FR=EE event provided the impetus and connections with others that I needed to immerse myself in exploring my own white privilege, view the systems and structures of our community through a new critical lens, and to and become activated in support of racial equity. I am grateful to FR=EE for elevating the conversations about racial issues in Rochester. Barbara Zappia

campbellAs an African American, I am no stranger to the lived experience of balancing who I am, with what I must do to make space for myself in the world that I live in.  Daily, this world neither confirms my existence, nor declares that I matter more than a mere nod of recognition.  It won’t do this; so I must.  At the end of the day, home is the sacred space that I’ve made for myself to review the commentary of my life (good and bad), reflect on it’s importance, reject what is harmful, and most unnecessary, and refuel for the next day. Each day I do this.  So it is with great care, deliberation and discernment that I consider who I let into the sacred space of my home.  Close family and friends, the overwhelming majority of whom are Black like me, they can come.  Being involved with FR=EE, and Table 23 has changed the above narrative for me, by expanding the term “friend” to include those brave enough for the journey of racial dialogue.  These friends seek merely to understand, and literally to know not only what has happened to me, but more about what has happened to them.  Together, we learn more about each other, but more importantly what we each can do in the varied spaces we all move in.  This is the power of what is possible when we stretch and refresh what we think we know, with who we know we are becoming.  This is brave space, and FR=EE has helped me move along in this journey; my journey.  Yes, even me.  — Jackie Campbell