Teaching racial & ethnic relations

Students across the Greater Birmingham area are talking about race relations at the Racial and Ethnic Identity Session.{} It will be held Wednesday morning at Anytown Alabama.{} This session will create an open forum for high school students to engage in an honest dialogue on a topic that is considered taboo in many social settings.{} It will take place at Camp Hargis in Chelsea. The 75 students involved are racially diverse.{} These students will explore their own racial identities and examine what difference race makes to their experiences in life.{} The group will be challenged to come up with ways that they personally can make their schools and communities more fair and inclusive for all, according to YWCA Central Alabama Director of Social Justice Joan Witherspoon-Norris. The goal of the interactive and often emotional exercise is to equip students with skills and insight to become effective leaders. The evening events will also feature a culture celebration from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Students will learn the value of appreciating other cultures and beliefs while celebrating their own. Anytown Alabama is a week-long residential camp started by the National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ) in 1989, and is now the product of a partnership with the YWCA Central Alabama.{} Each participant is taught ways to respond to real-life situations with kindness, courage and respect.{}