Local retreat examines role of white privilege in ongoing Manhattan race conversation


MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) — Equipping the community to talk openly about race issues was a mission for many, in Manhattan Saturday.

A race retreat – fostering conversation on white privilege in today’s culture, helped dozens understand the role they play in modern racism.

Among participants, eager to learn more – was local man, Brandon Irwin.

“A lot of people are not equipped to have these conversations.”

Irwin said the people who need to be having conversations on race issues, won’t typically participate in an event like the retreat. He suggested keeping a community dialogue open, could one day change that.

Hosted by First Congregational United Church of Christ, the retreat used curriculum specifically designed for tackling the topic of white privilege and racism within the church.

Pastor Caela Simmons Woods told KSNT News she’s encouraged by her congregation’s response to such an event.

“I take a lot of hope in seeing, in particular, that a lot of people who are other white folks are interested in learning and understanding more and really examining themselves and unpacking their own biases — the way racism exists as a culture.”

In a time when hate seems to dominate local headlines, the retreat hoped to begin rewriting the current narrative in Manhattan.

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