Let It Begin With Me


Symposium on Race and Violence | Free and open to the public
March 19, 2016 | 8:00 am – 12:30 pm
Valentine Hall, Gettysburg Lutheran Theological Seminary

Welcome to the Symposium on Race and Violence, sponsored by the Interfaith Center for Peace and Justice and the Social Action Committee of the Lutheran Theological Seminary Student Association.

This Symposium is free and open to the public. To aid in our planning, please register by March 14, 2016.

Schedule | Session Descriptions | Keynote speaker | Registration


8:00 am Check-in / Registration / coffee and light snacks
8:30 am Welcome (Valentine Auditorium)
8:45 am Session I (see descriptions below)
9:45 am BREAK
10:00 am Session II (see descriptions below)
11:00 am BREAK
11:15 am Session Summaries (Valentine Auditorium)
11:30 am Keynote address by David Botero, Coordinator of Harrisburg Compassionate Community Policing: Beautiful Trouble: Notes from a Professional Nosy Person (Valentine Auditorium)
12:15 pm Closing

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Session descriptions

Session I (8:45—9:45 am)

  • Race and Ethnicity I:Understanding the Minoritized Experience. (Valentine 206) What is the experience of people of color in our dominant white culture? Community leaders and activists Amelia Contreras, Athar Rafiq, Angela Spencer, and Beverly Stanton will share their perspectives on living as members of minoritized groups in the Adams/Frederick County region. Their panel presentation will be followed by a facilitated discussion to identify specific issues around race and ethnicity to address in Session II.
  • Reducing Violence I: Efforts by Advocacy Groups(Valentine 310) As we build inclusive communities we struggle to keep them safe for all residents. Licensed therapist Andrea Neidererr will participate in the panel with a presentation on “Reducing Trauma as a Community Response: Trauma Informed Adams County.” Moms Demand Action representative Carlene M. Rose will share some of the history of Everytown for Gun Safety and MDA, addressing current laws that allow gun violence and plans to reduce it. Dr. Pratibha Kumar of the Mount St. Mary’s Communication department will address, “Anti-Muslim Prejudice and Violence: Islamophobia in Media.” And Samiah Slusser, Supervisor of Direct Services for Survivors, Inc. will join the panel to discuss “Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Human Trafficking.”


Session II (10:00—11:00 am)

  • Race and Ethnicity II: Solutions for Building More Inclusive Communities. (Valentine 206) In this session, discussion leaders will engage participants in small groups to brainstorm solutions to the issues of race and ethnicity identified in Session I. How can we work together to build a more inclusive community in the Adams/Frederick County area? What can we do as individuals to build awareness, knowledge, and skills to address racism on interpersonal, institutional, and societal levels?
  • Reducing Violence II: What Can I Do? (Valentine 310) As we build community we seek ways to effectively reduce violence. Discussions of effective approaches will be led by panelists. Andrea Neidererr will lead a group in discussing Reducing Trauma as a Community Response. Carlene Rose will lead discussion of ways to reduce gun violence and how communities can help. Dr. Kumar will address ways to expand awareness of negative effects of Islamophobia in the Media and ways to counter it. Esther Waybright, Community Education Specialist for Survivors, Inc, will lead discussion about how everyone can play a role in preventing violence in our community.

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About the keynote speaker

David Botero is the Community Policing Coordinator for the Harrisburg Police Department. In this role he facilitates communication among neighbors, schools, community-benefit organizations, and the police. Botero, known as the “Community Peace Dude,” ensures that citizens are informed and engaged in creating safer and more peaceful communities. By coordinating with the Chief’s office, police officers, and city-wide resources, he focuses on increasing citizen involvement by supporting quality of life programs and initiatives that empower neighbors, parents, and youth. He is committed to promoting the city’s allegiance to Compassionate Policing, which develops new relationships, produces innovative ideas, embraces social and peaceful justice, and promotes public safety. Botero holds dual BA degrees in Communication Studies (Media Arts) and Business Spanish from West Virginia University, with minors in Women’s Studies and Africana Studies. He is a merited Scholar of the Martin Luther King Leadership Development Institute. He has worked at Telemundo Network in Miami and Univision Communications in New York. Prior to joining the Harrisburg Police Department, Botero was a Community Liaison and Contract Manager for Dauphin County Human Services. He is also a founding member of the HOPE in Handball Youth Mentoring Program at the East Shore YMCA in downtown Harrisburg.

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Please register using the online form below by March 14, 2016.

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