Discussions on race were productive

To the editor:

The First Church of Oberlin United Church of Christ recently sponsored a series of weekly discussions entitled “What Privilege.” The discussions, which began Feb. 9 and ended April 22, looked at things that often divide whites from blacks, such as income disparities, unequal treatment in the workplace, housing discrimination, incarceration rates, medical practices, and more.

The meetings offered opportunities for whites and people of color to come together and talk about things that otherwise keep us divided. Most sessions were well-attended and the attendees were encouraged to go within and speak from their heart. We were especially encouraged by the fellowship and new friendships that developed among attendees.

We hope the discussions are the beginnings of more dialog on the subject of race and ethnicity in Oberlin. The need for continuing interaction is great and the rewards of working to build a less divided, more inclusive community are equally great.

If all across America there were ongoing discussions about inequalities based mainly on skin color, it would surely raise our overall awareness as a nation. It could help us all move one step closer to living as one people.

Our thanks to those who attended the sessions and to First Church of Oberlin for organizing and sponsoring these important discussions.

Mauris Emeka

Jim Deitz