KSU to host anti-racism conference this weekend

Christina Stavale

Students from across the country will visit Kent this weekend to take part in the Anti-Racist Action National Conference.

The conference is held each year at a different college campus, and for the past year, Kent State’s chapter of the group has been planning to host this weekend’s event.

Katie Troha, junior applied conflict management major and ARA member, said in light of the racial tensions on campus this year, she hopes people have realized that racism is something that needs to be addressed and will want to do something about it.

ARA NATIONAL Conference Events

Saturday, Oct. 20

Turnup Records, 257 North Water St.

9 a.m. Capitalism Workshop

10 a.m. Immigration Workshop

11 a.m. Medic Info

12:30 p.m. Toledo panel

9 p.m. Concert

Sunday, Oct. 21

Student Center, Room 315

9 a.m. Sexual Assault Workshop

11a.m. C-Space Workshop

2:30 p.m. Police Brutality Workshop

4:30 p.m. Anti Racism for Collective

Liberation Workshop

Monday, Oct. 22

Kent Student Center, Room 315

10 a.m. Homophobia Workshop

11 a.m. Women’s Liberation Workshop

12 a.m. Tampaction Workshop

6 p.m. March Against Police Brutality

7 p.m. Rally Against Racism

“People seem to forget that racism is still out there,” she said. “Recent events have shown that it is.”

Troha said the group is expecting 40 to 50 attendees from outside of Kent – ranging from Philadelphia to Houston to Portland, Ore. Anyone from Kent may also attend.

Topics of conversation at the conference will not be limited to race.

“ARA uses ‘anti-racist’ to be against any type of bigotry,” she said.

Some workshop topics will include capitalism, sexual assault, police brutality and homophobia. Troha said well-known activists such as Art McCoy will be presenting some of the workshops. Speakers who have done significant work on the different issues will also present.

Kurt Belser, ARA member and former Kent State student, will be presenting on capitalism and poverty. He said he has been working on the workshop for about six months.

He said his main focus will be to talk about how our capitalist society is structured, and how that structure causes alienation in society.

“I’d just like to make something happen in somebody’s head to make them question their everyday life,” Belser said.

He encouraged students to attend the workshops because of the importance of the issues at hand.

“I believe racial issues are of utmost importance in any community and should be dealt with immediately,” he said. “When an issue of race is not dealt with, it creates more racial tension.”

The conference will conclude Monday with a march against police brutality and Harambee’s Rally Against Racism also marks the national day against police brutality.

Contact minority affairs reporter Christina Stavale at [email protected].