The Root Beer Summits: conversations on race and ethnic diversity across Michigan today
Earlier this year, President Barack Obama invited African American Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Caucasian police Sergeant James Crowley to sit down at a picnic table and have a beer with him and talk casually in what has become known as the historic “Beer Summit” at the White House.
Inspired, the Michigan Department of Civil Rights is hosting a series of "Root Beer Summits" today, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2009, across the state to also get people to sit down together in a relaxed setting with cool refreshments and talk. Times and locations available here.
In an invitation, New Detroit writes, “trained facilitators will lead local citizens through a series of thought-provoking questions and exercises. The goal? To increase our understanding of each other, to appreciate our state’s diverse people and communities, and to think about next steps we can take collectively to improve our dialogue and interactions moving forward.”
The Michigan Department of Civil Rights will also be pre-empting the controversy that erupted over the foreign beers that were to be served at the White House Beer Summit by serving Michigan-made Faygo Root Beer at the Michigan Root Beer Summits.
To learn more, go to www.michigan.gov/mdcr or call 517-241-3986 or 313-456-4694.
Frances Kai-Hwa Wang is a second-generation Chinese American from California who now divides her time between Ann Arbor and the Big Island of Hawaii. She is editor of IMDiversity.com Asian American Village, lead multicultural contributor for AnnArbor.com, and a contributor for New America Media's Ethnoblog. She is a popular speaker on Asian Pacific American and multicultural issues. Check out her website at franceskaihwawang.com, her blog at franceskaihwawang.blogspot.com, and she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.