CHRO Connects: Diversity Panel on MLK Day

Solomon Schechter Day School

Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Hartford; Deacon Art Miller, Director of the Office for Black Catholic Ministries for the Archdiocese of Hartford; Cheryl A. Sharp, Deputy Director of the State of Connecticut, Commission on Human Rights; Andrea Kasper, Head of School of Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Hartford; Tom Moore, West Hartford Public Schools Superintendent and Marji Lipshez-Shapiro, Education Director for the Connecticut Office of the Anti-Defamation League.

Solomon Schechter Day School and West Hartford Public Schools presented The State of the Dream : A Community Conversation about diversity. Parents, teachers, students and community leaders joined together in honor of Martin Luther King. The event was held Jan. 19.

The panel highlighted the perspective of three Connecticut leaders who have dedicated their lives to human rights and community education in the hopes of affecting change.

Marji Lipshez-Shapiro, educational Director of the CT Office of the Anti-Defamation League said, “The responsibility to fight injustice is on each of us. Dr. King’s legacy can’t be talked about without talking about bigotry and racism.”

Cheryl A. Sharp, Deputy Director, State of Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, shared her experiences with racism as a young attorney and how her small action affected change for thousands of students.

Much of the conversation focused on how each of us can take action to translate what we learn into meaningful action.

Deacon Art Miller, the Director of the Office for Black Catholic Ministries for the Archdiocese of Hartford said it is not information that is important, it is transformation.

“If we want to change the country, our responsibility is to eliminate the unearned disadvantaged,” he said.

Professor Avinoam Patt, from the Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Hartford moderated the discussion.

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