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Communication tipsPBS and AAC&U Collaborate on Racial Legacies National Town Meeting on Race
Joann Stevens, Vice President for Communications, AAC&U

Racial Legacies and Learning, AAC&U's national initiative mobilizing campus-community partnerships to help graduates overcome America's racial divide, will be the focus of an AAC&U/PBS National Town Meeting on Race, January 27, 1999 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time. Institutions can register as downlink sites or make arrangements with local PBS stations to have a team view the live satellite event at a PBS station (Call 1-800-257-2578).

Titled Racial Legacies and Learning: How To Talk About Race, the town meeting will be held at San Francisco State University (SFSU)--one of more than 60 institutions sponsoring Racial Legacies and Learning activities this fall. The conversation among participants from both higher education and local community organizations will highlight local project activities, the outcomes of the campus-community partnerships, and plans for sustaining dialogue and learning. Pertinent research, promising practices, case studies, new courses and programs, and strategies for forming partnerships and holding successful intergroup dialogues about race will be discussed by a distinguished panel, Racial Legacies and Learning planners, and audience members.

From discussions on race and religion at the Yale University School of Divinity to a conversation at Arizona State University-West with the president of Denny's Inc., viewers will see videotaped segments from actual Racial Legacies and Learning events, get to pose questions via the Internet and fax, and learn about the first national poll on attitudes toward campus diversity. Panelists will include Carol Geary Schneider, President of AAC&U and developer of Racial Legacies and Learning; Wayne Winborne, Director of Program and Policy Research for the National Conference for Community and Justice; Mildred García, Associate Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Arizona State University-West, the editor of Affirmative Action's Testament of Hope: Strategies for a New Era in Higher Education, and Ray (Rachel) Hoods-Phillips, the chief diversity officer for Avantica Restaurant Group, who created diversity reforms for Denny's, Inc. that have resulted in Denny's being named by Fortune the second best corporation in America for minorities.

To register for a PBS downlink license, contact: PBS Adult Learning Service, 1-800-257-2578, fax (703) 739-8471 or (703) 739-8495. Discount prices are available for AAC&U member institutions and PBS Adult Learning Service institutions.

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Electronic Resources

Throughout this year, PBS and AAC&U are developing and releasing a series of diversity resources to help campus/community planners form partnerships and hold meaningful intergroup dialogues. The following is a sampling of electronic resources currently available:

Diversity Web

In addition to its expansive compendium of resources on all aspects of campus diversity, visit the Racial Legacies and Learning page to find tips on developing and sustaining campus-community partnerships; descriptions of campus events and activities; annotated reading lists on race and racial reconciliation; and results of the national poll on campus diversity.


PBS Racial Legacies Website

  • A Student Survey on Campus Diversity for students to take. The survey is modeled on one taken by students at Racial Legacies and Learning institutions in Florida;
  • Results of the National Poll on Campus Diversity;
  • Videotaped vignettes of Racial Legacies and Learning events;
  • Online chats on racial issues;
  • Links to DiversityWeb resources and Racial Legacies and Learning campus Websites.


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Communication tips

If your college or university becomes a downlink site for the National Town Meeting, make it a media event so you can inform an even larger audience. Plan the event so that the viewing is followed by a local discussion, and invite well-known figures--university presidents, elected officials, business leaders, etc.--to participate. Then, ask one or two of the more serious journalists in your market to cover the discussion. And explore whether your local national public radio affiliate will simulcast it live or on a tape-delay.

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