Monday, January 26, 2009

Students Together Opposing Prejudice Conference

On Friday January 16, over 800 people attended two events as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at Siena College. The day kicked off with the fourth annual STOP (Students Together Opposing Prejudice) Conference where 190 students and 25 teachers from 19 Capital Region middle and high schools participated. The conference was filled with workshops where students discussed their own experience of prejudice and bias in their schools. Trained facilitators coached the students on how to recognize and defuse difficult situations as well as how to build communities of tolerance in their schools.

In the afternoon, over 600 children, parents and grandparents attended the annual presentation of the art, essays and poetry created by Capital Region school children describing Leadership in the 21st Century.

There were portraits of Martin Luther King Jr., Barack Obama, police officers, doctors, teachers and ordinary people, too.

These events are designed to connect the larger issue of the civil rights movement with lives of the children of today. Both events serve as a kickoff for the 22nd annual Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King Lecture on Race and Non-Violent Social Change, which will take place in the Marcelle Athletic Complex on Wednesday Jan. 28 at 7:00 pm. Michael Eric Dyson, Ph.D. will speak on “Martin Luther King and (African ) American Leadership in the 21st Century.”

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