The Central Jersey Community Coalition will hold a free, public event, “Meta Performs ‘Dismantling the Racism Machine’: Community Dialogue,” which will support the CJCC mission to “educate, advocate, inspire, and act.” This event features local author and CJCC steering committee member Dr. Karen Gaffney, who recently published “Dismantling the Racism Machine: A Manual and Toolbox” and CJCC partner The Meta Theatre Company. Meta cast members will perform concepts from Karen’s book through an interactive technique to encourage discussion and raise awareness about issues that include: New Jersey is one of the most diverse states but also one of the most racially segregated states in the US. Why don’t we talk about this? Nationally, white household wealth is almost 13 times that of black household wealth and more than 10 times that of Latinx household wealth. Why didn’t I learn this before?
Karen Gaffney, an English Professor at Raritan Valley Community College, says, “This upcoming collaboration with Meta Theatre is what I hope will be the first of many. It will be a great opportunity to raise awareness with the general public about fundamental issues of race and racism that don’t get enough attention and provide tools for action, which were the goals of my new book.”
Caroline Hann, Artistic Co-Director of The Meta Theatre Company, says, “We believe that theatre is a pathway to justice. The Meta Theatre Company uses performance to connect our audiences to issues in our community and shine the light on the invisible, powerful systems that impact our personal lives. Performing excerpts from Dr. Gaffney’s book is a transformative opportunity to show the lived experiences of people oppressed by inter-generational patterns over hundreds of years, and how those same patterns still exist today in our lives. The audience will discuss action plans to stop these oppressive patterns and to continue the work beyond the performance.”
Karen’s book will be available for sale (cash or check only), or you can find it at routledge.com or Amazon. For additional information, go to Karen’s blog with recommended resources (https://dividednolonger.com/) and Meta's website (https://www.themetatheatrecompany.org/).
The event begins at 7 p.m. May 21, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills, 123 East Cliff St., Somerville.