There will be three discussion sessions in Berrien County heralding the release of “Building Bridges Across the Racial Divide,” written by Larry and Sandy Feldman of Southwest Michigan and published by Peter Lang Publishers.
The book reviews theory and research on methods for reducing stereotypes and prejudice, along with describing initiatives designed to reduce the negative effects of racial separation by bringing people together people from different racial backgrounds, according to a news release.
The book discussions will be:
• 6-7:30 p.m. July 23 at the at the New Buffalo Public Library, 33 N. Thompson St., New Buffalo,
• 7-8:30 p.m. Aug. 19 at the Phoenix Coffeeshop, 124 Water St., Benton Harbor and
• 7-8:30 p.m. Aug. 27 at Forever Books, 312 State St., St. Joseph.
There is no charge for attending the discussions.
The Feldmans are diversity educators and consultants, adjunct instructors at Lake Michigan College and practicing psychotherapists. They have been honored for their work in race relations by Andrews University, Lake Michigan College, United Way, The Race Relations Council, The Council for World Class Communities and the League of Women Voters.
They created a course at Lake Michigan College on The Psychology of Stereotyping and Prejudice and believe that their book can serve as a text for courses on race relations, diversity, social psychology, sociology, education, parenting and community development.
The Rev. Laurie Hartzell of First Presbyterian Church in Benton Harbor said the work done by the Feldmans on racial reconciliation has created healing and hope in the area.
“In ‘Building Bridges Across the Racial Divide,’ they share their story and mentor those of us who hunger for Dr. King’s ‘Beloved Community,’” she said in the news release. “Packed with research, stories of fellow sojourners, practical steps, honesty about the struggles, and wisdom born from the courageous practice of deep listening, this book weaves theory and practice in a way that truly helps us live as a ‘family under one sky’.”
Michael Nixon, vice president for Diversity and Inclusion at Andrews University, said a lot of young adults enter college damaged due to the lack of positive engagement with people from different racial backgrounds earlier in their lives.
“The Feldmans’ emphasis on positive contact between individuals from different racial groups, while being unapologetic about telling the truth about our country’s racialized and racist history, is commendable and deserves recognition,” he said in the news release. “I am a better advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion after reading this seminal work from the Feldmans.”