February 08, 2014

News Release

For Immediate Release

Race & Faith Collaborative debuts DVD, announces grant

Members of the Greater Springfield Race & Faith Collaborative gathered this morning to share second-quarter educational materials - part of a yearlong effort to focus on race and race relations in the Springfield-area community.

The effort began last August with a Unity March to the Square, celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.

The second quarter "tool kit" distributed to representatives from organizations representing different faiths, points of view and ethnic backgrounds, included a DVD with interviews conducted by documentary filmmaker Patrick Mureithi. DVD replication and packaging was donated by National Audio. The kit also included materials with advice on how to talk to friends and family about racism; strategies for responding to racist comments and jokes and general discussion questions for keeping an open dialogue.

"These are not meant to just be read and forgotten," implored Dr. Ken Coopwood, one of the Collaborative's four executive committee members. Coopwood is also the Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion at Missouri State University. "This whole effort is meant to create action. He encouraged participants to use the tools with groups they are involved with.

City Manager Greg Burris announced that Springfield is one of only 50 communities to be awarded a traveling exhibition, "Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863, and the March on Washington, 1963". The exhibit will open July 12-Aug. 22 at the Library Center as part of an ongoing, citywide Civil Rights Celebration and discussion of race and race relations today. A six-week line-up of events in conjunction with this exhibit, will serve as the fourth quarter, or bookend event to the Unity March. (Get more details about the announcement.)

Springfield-Greene County Library District applied for the grant and exhibit. Executive director Regina Cooper said the Library will collaborate with community partners, including the Race & Faith Collaborative, NAACP Springfield Branch and Minorities in Business, to develop programs to help all ages of audiences understand and discuss the relationship between these two great peoples' movements. Programs will include scholarly lectures, art and photo exhibits and the showing of four PBS documentaries including "The Abolitionist," "The Loving Story," "Freedom Riders" and "Slavery by Another Name."

For more information, contact Cora Scott at 417-380-3352 or Mark Struckhoff at 417-862-3586.
Tool kit and other materials will be available shortly on RaceAndFaith.Com.