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The Hinton News of Hinton, West Virginia

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An exciting opportunity for anyone who cares about racial issues in Appalachia will be held Nov. 10 and Nov. 11 at New River Community and Technical College's newly re-opened Kyle and Ann Fort Arts and Sciences Building in Lewisburg.

Summit on RAce Matters: Continuing Conversations will feature keynote speakers Dr. Michelle Foster, CEO of Kanawha Institute for Social Research & Action (KISRA) and Rev. Nelson Staples, pastor of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Beckley.

Participants will watch and discuss the film "Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequality" by Shatki Butler, who received national acclaim for challenging viewers to engage in authentic dialogue about race. The film has been called inspiring and transformational.

Dr. L. Marhsall Washington, President of New River Community and Technical College will welcome guests.

Diverse panels will include individuals representing African American, Asian American, Latin American, and Native American cultures.

"We envision a series of dynamic conversations that will raise awareness about the discrimination that exists and the need for greater tolerance and acceptance in our state in order to build a stronger West Virginia for everyone," said Lewisburg native Twana Jackson, a member of the steering committee organizing the event and Director of Purchasing at New River CTC.

In addition, Appalachian Poet Crystal Good will perform her work. Good has been published in Pluck! The Journal for Appalachian Culture, Appalachian Heritage.

The Book of New Poetry for the Rising Tide, has received numerous interviews and reviews of her work, and was a speaker at the 2013 TEDx Conference in Lewisburg.

The event is sponsored by the Greater Greenbrier Valley Community Foundation, West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, and New River Community and Technical College.

It's called "Continuing Conversations" because the first Race Matters Summit in Appalachia, held November 2014 in Charleston received such a positive response that additional events have been held around the state.

The West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy created a website that catalogs stark statistics on race and social and economic disparities in the state:

"The title "Continuing Conversation' was also selected because the Steering Committee hopes that the program will continue to bring people together on a regular basis to talk openly and begin to break down some racial barriers," said Courtney Smith, Executive Director of The Greater Greenbrier Valley Community Foundation

Early registration is $15 before Nov. 1 and $2i after Nov. 1. Students and one-day registration is $10. For more information or to register, please contact Courtney Smith at 304-645-5620 or email

New River Community and Technical College serves nine counties in southern West Virginia from, the Greenbrier Valley Campus (Lewisburg), Mercer County Campus (Princeton), Nicholas County Campus (Summersville), and Raleigh County Campus (Beaver/Beckley).

Copyright 2015 The Hinton News, Hinton, West Virginia. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: November 3, 2015

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