Talking About Race in the Shenandoah Valley

Sep 12, 2017

Dr. Wornie Reed runs the Race and Social Policy Research Center at Virginia Tech.
Credit Dr. Wornie Reed

After the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville last month, many people in the Shenandoah Valley, an area rich in Civil War history, are asking, what now? WMRA’s Jessie Knadler takes a look at unfolding discussions about race across the region.

Now is a good time for communities to talk about how they talk about race.

Dr. Wornie Reed runs the Race and Social Policy Research Center at Virginia Tech. In the first of three presentations beginning in Lexington Wednesday night he’ll make the case that more effective discussions ensue when people focus less on individual prejudices and biases, and more on institutional policies and practices that he says inculcate separation.

DR. WORNIE REED:     If we focus on those policies and practices we can get together and decide whether or not those policies and practices should exist or whether they should be challenged and changed. And the only way they’ll be changed is to have citizens force that change.

He’s prepared to answer questions about the events in Charlottesville following the discussion. It takes place at the Lylburn Downing Middle School, Wednesday, September 13. He’ll be speaking in Roanoke on October 25 and Wytheville on November 8.

For more information, visit the Facebook page of the Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia which is co-sponsoring the events with other faith communities and community organizations.