BLOOMFIELD, NJ --  As part of a series of community conversations about race, the township will be holding its next one on Wednesday, July 29 at 7:00pm via Zoom. 

The “Let’s Talk About Race” discussion will be focused on the social construction of race and its real life implications. Associate Professor for the Sociology Department at William Paterson University Wendy Christensen and Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Clara Maass Medical Center Desyra Highsmith Holcomb will be the guest speakers. Councilwomen Dr. Wartyna Davis and Jenny Mundell will moderate the conversation. 

“These community meetings continue to be informative and productive and I am thrilled that our residents have been so receptive to them,” said Mayor Venezia. “For this next meeting, we will have two outstanding special guests that are experts on issues relating to race and implicit bias as well as members of the Council and myself. If you are a resident, please consider joining us for this meeting on Zoom to be a part of the conversation.” 

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The goal of this series is to provide a safe space for courageous conversations on race as well as language around which to have continued conversations on the topic with a historical and cultural context. The series attempts to challenge members of the community to consider how they will commit to anti-racist behaviors and actions. Participants of this meeting will be invited to a follow up conversation on September 2. 

To join the meeting, go to https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89332194990?pwd=QjVScGsvcXVXM2NTTy93SUtTdzIrZz09, Meeting ID: 893 3219 4990,Password: 407739 or call in at 1-646-558-8656, Meeting ID: 893 3219 4990, Password: 407739. The meeting will also be live streamed on the township Facebook page via Facebook Live. 

Wendy M. Christensen is an Associate Professor in the Sociology Department at William Paterson University in New Jersey. Originally from Maine, she received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2010. Her research focuses on how political discourse and participation is shaped by social inequalities. Her book, "Mothers of the Military: Support and Politics During Wartime," was published by Rowman & Littlefield Press (2018). At WPUNJ she teaches courses on social movements, social inequality, theory, war and media. She is active in efforts on campus to empower students to political activism, and involved in local community organizing and social movements.

Desyra Highsmith Holcomb is the Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, New Jersey an affiliate of RWJBarnabas Health, where she pursues an inclusive and compassionate culture for patients, employees and the community. Highsmith Holcomb previously worked at William Paterson University where she held various roles. She helped develop and execute initiatives which advanced the culture of that University and recruited a diverse staff. Additionally in her time there she led efforts to increase awareness for issues having to do with discrimination, equal opportunity, diversity and inclusion. 

For more resources on these issues please visit, https://www.bloomfieldtwpnj.com/1538/6971/Community-Conversation-Resource-Links?activeLiveTab=widgets.