| Program: || Interior Alaska Center for the Healing of Racism, Fairbanks, AK |
| Contact(s): || Kandie Christian, Co-Chair: (907) 455-7046 |
| Purpose: || To create an environment in which people of all races can address each other through open and honest discussion |
After attending a lecture by Nathan Rutstein, author of Healing Racism in America, individuals who shared a desire to eliminate racism in Fairbanks developed the first community discussion groups. A volunteer board worked closely with Dialogue Racism in Texas, another grassroots organization, to further explore of the depth and breadth of racism in the community. After a year of dialogue, the volunteers formed the Interior Alaska Center for the Healing of Racism was formed and its board of directors.
The Center was formed upon the premise that all people are affected by racism, and that this understanding is the only way to escape the cycle of racial conditioning. The Center's mission is to educate people to recognize and internalize the reality of the oneness of humanity. The Center offers a series of courses on issues of racism, called Healing Racism 1, 2, and 3. These courses inspire the participants' personal transformations. Participants acquire the ability to honor other people's feelings, continue their own healing, and develop friendships with members of other ethnic groups. The Center also provides facilitator training for participants. Participants are given opportunities to express their understanding of, and commitment to healing the problems of racism through collective action and in community service projects. The Center has established its commitment to oneness through its staff and administration. All positions within the Center must be held jointly by a person of color and a white person. Anyone interested in a board position must first participate in a Healing Racism course. This policy is based on the Center's position that individuals working together to end racism must appreciate its basic principles.
Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments
Through its courses, conferences, and community outreach projects, the has directly impacted over 1,100 residents in the Fairbanks community. The personal changes experienced by course participants extend beyond the individual level, as participants continue to practice the principles of oneness in their everyday interactions with others and often become course facilitators. The Center reaches out to the general public through community service projects, such as the "Calling All Colors Children's Race" Unity Conference, round table discussion groups, and presentations at conferences, including the Alaska Women's Conference. The Center also communicate its goals through its newsletter and in broadcast media.