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Symposium on 'Race in the 21st Century' Oct. 30-Nov. 1

KEENE, N.H. 10/24/03 - The 2000 U.S. Census was the first to allow people to identify themselves as members of more than one race - and many did, describing the changing demographics of the United States. Hispanic Americans are the largest minority population in the nation. The Census Bureau considers Hispanic origin and race to be separate concepts and thus considers that Hispanics may be of any race. Among the race groups defined, Asian Americans had the highest population growth rate.

The complex issues of race will be the focus of Keene State College’s third biennial World Affairs Symposium, "Race in the 21st Century." The symposium will be held Thursday-Sunday, Oct. 30-Nov. 1, in various locations at KSC. All presentations and workshops are free and open to the public. The three evening banquets cost $20 each.

According to symposium coordinator Helen Frink, professor of modern languages and women’s studies, "Race in the 21st Century" will explore how Americans define "race," perceive their racial origins, identify categories of race, and experience racism.

"As immigration, interracial marriage, and interracial adoption change American faces, how are our concepts of race and racism changing?" asked Frink. "Are Hispanics or Franco-Americans an ethnic group, a culture, or a race? Are Jews in the United States a religious group or a race? What about Muslim Americans? Who is an Indian?"

More than 20 presenters and workshops will address different aspects of "race" during the symposium. Workshop sessions are designed for elementary, middle school, and high school teachers. Among presenters are former U.S. Congresswoman Sabrina Sojourner, Cesar Monzon of the U.S. Census Bureau, Andrew Tarsy of the Anti-Defamation League, James Zobgy of the Arab American Institute, and many faculty members from Keene State and other institutions.

The opening address will be given by Janaki Tschannerl, co-director of the World Educational Links graduate and certificate teacher education program and senior lecturer in teacher education/multicultural studies at KSC. She is also on the graduate faculty of the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont, and Director of the Bapagrama Educational Center in Bangalore, India. Tschannerl will speak about "White Privilege and Globalization" at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday in the Alumni Recital Hall of the Redfern Arts Center.

The keynote speakers, who will address the audience at 7 p.m. each evening in the Mabel Brown Room of KSC’s Student Center, are:

" Randall Kennedy professor of law at Harvard Law School and a Rhodes Scholar. He is the author of Race, Crime, and the Law, winner of the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. His new book Interracial Intimacies: Sex, Marriage, Identity, and Adoption examines the explosive issue of interracial intimacy. He will speak about "Interracial Intimacies: Sex, Marriage, Identity, and Adoption" on Thursday evening.

" Manning Marable, professor of history and political science at Columbia University, is the founding director of the Institute for Research in African American Studies. He is the author of 15 books, most recently Race, Reform, and Rebellion: The Second Reconstruction in Black America, 1945-2000. He will speak about "Navigating the New Diversity: Race, Gender, and Class in America" on Friday evening.

" Julia Jefferson and Shay Banks Young are descendants of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings. They will speak about "Affairs of Race in America" on Saturday evening.

"Race in the 21st Century" is made possible by the support of the New Hampshire Humanities Council, the Keene State College Alumni Association, and the KSC Class of 1939 International Lecture Fund. For more information, contact Helen Frink at 603-358-2956, or visit www.keene.edu/events/racesympos ium.

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