JUNEAU - Racism was identified as a community issue in the Compass II survey conducted through United Way of Southeast Alaska.
"Racism still exists in Juneau and most people don't even know or think they are prejudiced," said Brenda Hewitt, President of United Way of Southeast Alaska.
To help address the problem, the city of Juneau has provided grant funds for workshops for the past three years. This year, "Diverse Origins - Common Destinies" workshops will be offered April 8 and 9.
The workshops will be taught by Munirah Mawusi. The fee for the day-long class is $25 and lunch will be provided.
The Compass II community assessment listed diversity as one of the top five issues, noting that "Remnants of racism combine with a largely unrealized opportunity to build on the community's rich multi-cultural assets."
Changing demographics indicate an increase in racial/ethnic diversity, aging population, income and education gaps, linguistic challenges, differing values, lifestyles and physical and mental abilities. "The question becomes, "How do we embrace these differences to create an even stronger community?" Hewitt said.
Class size is limited to 35 participants per day. Thursday's class will be at the University of Alaska Southeast and Friday's course will be taught at the Juneau Yacht Club. On Saturday, Muwasi will teach the Leadership Juneau cohort. To sign up for the workshops, contact United Way of Southeast Alaska at 463-5530.