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Twin Cities Community Gathers to Discuss Race

By YWCA Minneapolis
October 17, 2017
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YWCA It’s Time to Talk: Forums on Race™ helps foster cross-cultural understanding

More than 1,200 Twin Cities community leaders will gather in the Minneapolis Convention Center on October 17 to discuss race relations at the 15th Annual It’s Time to Talk: Forums on Race™. The issues of race and racism in our local communities and the country are as timely as ever. YWCA Minneapolis organizes the event as part of its on-going mission to foster cross-cultural understanding and strengthen our communities’ commitment to advance racial equity.

This year’s keynote presentation will be moderated by Sun Yung Shin. Shin is the editor of A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota, a provocative book where 16 of Minnesota’s best writers provide a range of perspectives on what it is like to live as a person of color in Minnesota. Shin is the author of poetry/essay collections Unbearable Splendor; Rough, and Savage and Skirt Full of Black; a co-editor of Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption; and the author of a bilingual illustrated book for children Cooper’s Lesson. She has received artist grants from Bush Foundation, Minnesota State Arts Board, The McKnight Foundation, and the Jerome Foundation.

Shin will facilitate and guide a panel discussion regarding current concerns in our community with contributors from the book, A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota, which include:

Shannon Gibney is a writer, educator, activist, and the author of See No Color, a young adult novel. Her writing has appeared in Al Jazeera America, The Crisis, Gawker, and other venues. A Bush Artist and McKnight Writing Fellow, she lives with her family in Minneapolis.

Sherry Quan Lee approaches writing as a community resource and as culturally based art of an ordinary everyday practical aesthetic. Her most recent book, Love Imagined: A Mixed Race Memoir, was a 2015 Minnesota Book Award finalist.

David Mura has written two memoirs: Turning Japanese, a Josephine Miles Book Award/Oakland PEN winner and a New York Times Notable Book, and Where the Body Meets Memory. He’s written four books of poetry, including The Last Incantation and one novel Famous Suicides of the Japanese Empire.

Rodrigo Sanchez-Chavarria is a writer and spoken word poet of Peruvian heritage involved with Palabristas, a Minnesota-based Latin@ poets collective. He is an MFA student at Hamline University

and writes about fatherhood, the duality of two cultures in English, Spanglish, and Spanish, and issues pertaining to his community.

Following the panel discussion, attendees will participate in small-group, dynamic and thoughtful dialogues about race, moderated by YWCA-trained facilitators.

The largest event of its kind in the country, thousands of individuals have attended It’s Time to Talk: Forums on Race since its inception. Feedback from many who attended last year showed the event motivated them to take action to improve race relations in their communities.


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.                       It’s Time to Talk: Forums on Race

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.                      Welcome, Keynote Presentation, and Panel Discussion


Minneapolis Convention Center

1301 Second Ave. South- Ballroom A

Minneapolis, MN  55403


  • Sun Yung Shin along with all four panelists: Shannon Gibney, Sherry Quan Lee, David Mura, Rodrigo Sanchez-Chavarria will be available for photos and interviews.
  • Arnoldo Curiel, YWCA Vice President Racial Justice and Public Policy, can discuss the profound impact open dialogues about race can have on individuals, organizational culture and the community.
  • Media members are invited to film before and/or after the event.  Media members are also invited to film and make sound recordings of the keynote presentation and panel discussion. During the event, media is welcome to photograph shots of the event, but not make sound recordings of the individual table discussions that take place after the keynote presentation. All images and recordings can only be used for media stories about the It’s Time to Talk: Forums on Race event on October 17, 2017.


At YWCA Minneapolis’ 15th Annual It’s Time to Talk: Forums on Race luncheon, community members will become allies, activists and friends, working together for racial equality and understanding. Everyone engages in conversations about race and privilege, creating cultural understanding and committing to work toward social change. The State of Minnesota, City of Minneapolis and City of St. Paul proclaim October 17, as “Dialogue on Race Day”. Recognizing dialogue as a proven process to improve race relations is historically significant. Each of us is called upon to “Continue the Conversation” by sharing life experiences and listening.

YWCA Minneapolis is a national leader in the field of racial justice, facilitating change and generating meaningful action in the workplace and the community. YWCA Minneapolis works with more than 4,100 people annually through our Racial Justice community programs, which include public forums, community dialogues, and training in unlearning racism and understanding privilege.


Emily O’Gara
YWCA Minneapolis
(office) 612-215-4164
(cell) 917-364-3767