At a Racial Equity Institute training on Mount Desert Island last fall, instructor Monica Walker speaks to the intergenerational group about the definition of racism and its social and institutional ramifications. PHOTO COURTESY OF JILL LEE

Racial equity training offered

MOUNT DESERT — The MDI Racial Equity Working Group is again bringing an in-depth, two-day training about historical and institutional racism to the island.

The Racial Equity Institute (REI) will offer the workshop May 13-14 from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Seaside United Church of Christ in Northeast Harbor.

“The REI workshop was an illuminating experience which highlighted the origins of racism in our country,” said Sirohi Kumar, a Mount Desert Island High School student who was part of the intergenerational group of MDI residents to participate last fall.

In the training, skilled facilitators foster thoughtful analysis and dialogue using historical, economic, and other data. The workshop aims helps participants understand how race and racism have been constructed in the U.S. and how ideas about racism live in our unconscious minds, institutions and social structures.

Kate Macko of Bar Harbor called it “dense and powerful and life-changing.”

“Racism shapes the functioning and outcomes of all institutions in America,” organizers said. “From urban economic development to rural agriculture, from child welfare to criminal justice systems, racial inequity is found across our country and state, even as people of all races struggle to make ends meet. Even those who are aware of and concerned about racial disparities often find it challenging to understand how racism functions in its contemporary forms.”

Participants are expected to attend for the entirety of the workshop. A light continental breakfast and lunch are provided. Contact Gail Leiser at 288-9083 or Dave Feldman at 266-6941.

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