Center for Racial Dialogue and Communal Transformation

Center for Racial Dialogue and Communal Transformation

Our Mission and Vision


NVCC’s Center for Racial Dialogue and Communal Transformation will support the college’s mission to facilitate courageous conversations and promote positive change and healing in our community by providing opportunities for students, faculty, staff and community members to engage in respectful dialogue and learning opportunities concerning diversity and equity. 


To serve as a vehicle for dialogue and action.


Professor Kathy Taylor, JD
Founding Co-Chair

A Message from the Founding Co-Chair

"The brilliant intellectual and civil rights icon, James Baldwin reminds us that 'not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.' Here, at the Center for Racial Dialogue and Communal Transformation, we boldly face and have deep and meaningful dialogue around issues of race, injustice, systemic racism, power, hierarchy, and the multitude of ways that race shapes our experiences, interactions, and informs our perspective. In this space, we develop concrete plans of action, and offer intellectually challenging workshops that help people challenge and transform their thinking about race. We host book discussions, faculty forums, and community workshops - all in furtherance of one goal - making NVCC and our community more inclusive, equitable, and just. And I invite you to join us!"

- Professor Kathy Taylor, JD, Founding Co-Chair

Committee Members

Associate Dean Angela Chapman

Professor Joseph Faryniarz, Founding Co-Chair

Susan Houilhan, CAPSS Advisor and Retention Specialist

Professor Nikki McGary, PhD

Professor Julia Petitfere

Professor Ron Picard, PhD

Antonio Santiago, Dean of Danbury, Founding Co-Chair

Professor Elma Solomon

Professor Kathy Taylor, JD, Founding Co-Chair




Calendar of Upcoming Events

This Fall, our programming is shaped by our current context, one full of discussions around race, inequity, disparate outcomes, and racial tensions. Throughout this semester, we invite participants to think about how we arrived at this very predictable time in history, how our silence abdicated our moral responsibility, how our literature can inform and shape our social justice lens, and how our commitment to a more just and equitable world begins with each of us understanding our place in a world full of both privilege and oppression.

1. September 21, 2020 at 2 p.m.

A Brown Bag Virtual Discussion, "I've Stayed Silent for Way Too Long" facilitated by CAPSS Advisor and Retention Specialist Sue Houlihan and Associate Dean Angela Chapman. See the article here.

2. October 1, 2020 at 12:45 p.m. 

A Virtual Discussion on Redlining: How We Came to Live Where We Do with Professors Taylor and McGary

3. Beginning October 5, 2020

21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Virtual Challenge with Professor Kathy Taylor. 

The 21-Day Challenge concept was developed many years ago to “advance deeper understanding of the intersections of race, power, privilege, supremacy and oppression.” The Challenge invites participants to complete a syllabus of 21 short assignments (typically taking 15-30 minutes), over 21 consecutive days, that include readings, videos or podcasts. Within the three weeks, participants will meet five times to share personal reflections, shared learning, ponder questions, and plan next steps. The 21-day begins October 5th with meeting dates on 10/7, 10/12, 10/15, 10/20 and 10/26.

4. November 5, 2020 at 1 p.m.

Literacy and Protest on the Path to Social Justice: A Conversation with Angela Davis and Toni Morrison. Facilitated by Professor Ron Picard. Participants will view the video prior to the virtual discussion on 11/5. 

5. Stay tuned, beginning January 2021

The Peabody-nominated 14-part Series, Seeing White with Professor Kathy Taylor and Tim Magee, Bridge to College Director. By looking directly at the elephant in the room: whiteness, participants will examine the American conversation about race and the stories we tell ourselves about race and ethnicity.

Resources to Further Understanding

Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

An Indigenous People’s History of the United States, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz.

Black Wealth/White Wealth: A New Perspective on Racial Inequality, Melvin L. Oliver and Thomas M. Shapiro.

Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People, Mahzarin R. Banaji, Anthony G. Greenwald. 

Categorically Unequal: The American Stratification System, Douglas S. Massey.

Catfish and Mandala: A Two-Wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam, Andrew Pham.

Class Matters: Cross-Class Alliance Building for Middle Class Activists, Betsy Leondar-Wright.

Growing Up Latino, Harold Augenbraum.

Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong, James Loewen.

Racial Divide: Racial and Ethnic Bias in the Criminal Justice System, Michael J. Lynch, E. Britt Patterson and Kristina K. Childs.

Talking Race in the Classroom, J. Bolgatz. 

The Genius of Language: Fifteen Writers Reflect on Their Mother Tongues, Wendy Lesser.

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, Michelle Alexander.

The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee, Paisley Rekdal.

The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger, Kate Pickett 

Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell.

Promoting Racial Literacy in Schools: Differences That Make a Difference, Howard C. Stevenson.

Privilege, Power, and Difference, Allan Johnson.

Raising Race Questions: Whiteness and Inquiry in Education, Michael Ali. 

Waking Up White in the Story of my Race, Irving Debbie. 

“How to Talk About Race”:

Intergroup Resources’ “Talking about Race”:

Lowery’s “Bridging the Racial Divide Through CrossRacial Dialogue: Lessons and Reflections from My Experience as a Facilitator” in Journal of Critical Thought and Praxis. 

“Flipping the Switch: White Privilege and Community Building, Maggie Potapchuk, Sally Leiderman, Donna Bivens and Barbara Major”:

*If Beale Street Could Talk (2018):

*Just Mercy (2019):

*Selma (2015):

The Hate U Give (2018):

When They See Us (TV series based on a true story):

Cracking the Codes:

Race the Power of Illusion:


The House I Live In:

* [note: these titles are coming soon through our library’s Swank account:]

ADL: Fighting Hate for Good:

Resources from the Annie E. Casey Foundation:

Tools from Racial Equity:

Standing Rock Syllabus:

Resources from the Catalyst Project, Anti-Racism for Collective Liberation:

Interfaith Toolkit for Challenging Racism:

Black Lives Matter:


BGD: Amplifying the Voices of Queer and Trans People of Color:

Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society:

Racial Equity Alliance:

Zinn Education Project: Teaching People’s History:

Hispanic Research Center’s Cultural Competence Guide for Community Based Organizations:

W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Racial Equity Resource Guide:

 Establishing an Equity Team:

National Association for Multicultural Education:

Southern Poverty Law Center:


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