WATERVILLE — A community discussion about race will be held Wednesday night at the REM Center in downtown, according to a news release.

The discussion will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the 93 Main St. building and will open with comments from facilitators, according to the release from Julie de Sherbinin, of Waterville, a professor of Russian at Colby College, and Tashia Bradley, Colby’s senior associate dean of students and diversity, inclusion and equity programs.

“The nation’s public eye has been sharply focused on troubling questions concerning race relations,” the release said. “Yet when asked about racism in their communities, mid-Maine residents frequently reply, ‘That’s not a problem,’ because ‘there is no diversity here.’ Why, then, are there so many stories — told by local residents, students, and visitors — about bias incidents, racial profiling, and insulting racial slurs shouted in public spaces?”

The release states that fostering an inclusive community starts with awareness, which is an aim of the discussion.

“The evening will open with commentary from conversation facilitators, who will offer thoughts about moving our community forward by changing some broadly accepted perceptions and discarding some often-repeated phrases,” according to the release. Questions and discussion will follow.

Wednesday’s event follows two similar talks on the Colby campus in March 2015 and on the Thomas campus in September 2015 at which people of color spoke about uncomfortable or hostile reception in public spaces in the Waterville area, according to de Sherbinin.

For more information, call de Sherbinin at 872-5908 or email Bradley at [email protected]

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