Letter to the Editor

Let's talk about race

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

To the editor:

It is easy to sit down with our friends and neighbors and talk about our community -- what new businesses have opened or closed, how the local sports teams are doing and of course our ever-changing weather.

But there are some subjects that are harder to talk about. Race is one of those subjects. Sometimes we are scared to talk about race -- we are afraid that we will offend someone or that we will be misunderstood so sometimes we retreat into silence. But we pay for that silence -- our community, our schools, our workplaces pay for that silence. We, as a community need to start talking about race and diversity issues and work to make Greencastle and Putnam County a more welcoming community.

The Read to Understand Project's goal is to promote discussions on race and diversity. The Project's sponsoring organizations invite our community to read and then discuss the book, "Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?" by Beverly Daniel Tatum. This book discusses racial identity development for both white people and people of color and gives the reader a better understanding of the complex dynamics that impact our daily interactions with one another.

The project is sponsored by the Greencastle NAACP, the Greencastle League of Women Voters, St. Andrews Episcopal Church, Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church, Putnam County Public Library, the Greater Greencastle Chamber of Commerce, the Kiwanis and the Janet Prindle Institute of Ethics at DePauw.

The opportunity to come together and talk about race and diversity will help us as a community to find the courage to break the silence and really talk about the issues that separate us. If you are interested in receiving a free copy of the book and are willing to participate in one two-hour book discussion to be held over the summer please contact Leslie Hanson at lesliehanson@broadreach.net or at 720-3236.

Leslie Hanson, Diane Hightower, Charles Miles, Indy New-Cox, Margot R. Payne, Martha Rainbolt, Sheri Roach, Tamra Walker, Rev. Bill Wieland, Lucy Wieland