About Race and Reconciliation
Bill and Janet Cohen, along with Langhart Communications, are proud to have helped The Howard Gilman Foundation sponsor the Race and Reconciliation in America (RARIA) conference, held July 24-25, 2008, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. We are convinced that what America needs is a serious, open, civil dialogue about racial, ethnic and religious prejudice. The current national and political atmosphere is conducive to beginning a frank and productive national discussion, which we hope will continue in communities across the country.
The RARIA conference convened a group of men and women from across the nation, and across professional disciplines, to discuss the seminal topic of race. The issue of race has dominated our national dialogue and divided our nation since the American Revolution. An extremely successful event, the RARIA conference was attended by best-selling authors, award-winning actors, policymakers, historians, NGOs and academicians.
Any discussion of race or racism inevitably stirs uncomfortable reactions. There are deep resentments held by both black Americans and white Americans with regard to race and racism. Unfortunately, any discussion of the racial divide in our country too often is reduced to sound bytes or shouting matches.
During this day and a half, we focused on education, law and criminal justice, economic inequality, the media and film, religion and the next generation. Our meeting also included excerpts from “Anne and Emmett,” Janet Langhart Cohen’s new play about a discussion between Anne Frank and Emmett Till.