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PRESS RELEASE: Adirondack Diversity Initiative and ANCA Host Antiracism “Listen-in” Series

Thousands have gathered for peaceful protests across northern New York in recent weeks, as people and communities seek ways to engage in the broader national movement for racial justice. In response, the Adirondack Diversity Initiative (ADI), in partnership with the Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA), will host a series of virtual “Listen-in” and “Teach-in” sessions focused on mobilizing the community on issues of racial equity and transformational justice in America.

The first Listen-in session, “Antiracism 101: Checklist for white allies & activists,” will feature Nicky Hylton-Patterson, Director of the Adirondack Diversity Initiative, and a panel of Black activist-scholars from across the region for a discussion on the Black experience in America. The virtual session will take place via Zoom on Monday, June 15, 2020 at 6:00-7:00 p.m.

“We are witnessing an unprecedented wave of passion and support for racial justice across the nation and here in the North Country,” said Hylton-Patterson. “Our hope is that ADI’s new Antiracism Campaign will educate and empower white allies and activists so they can understand and combat systemic racism within their own communities and social networks.”

Each session in the Antiracism Campaign will provide language, tools, techniques, as well as strategies to identify, understand and build more racially just and equitable communities in the North Country.

Hylton-Patterson explained that “Listen-ins” are rooted in the African oral history tradition of passing down knowledge. These forums allow experts to discuss topics and share information with an engaged audience without interruption. She described “Teach-ins” as informal lectures and discussions on a subject of public interest.

Hylton-Patterson will be joined by Dr. Michelle Cromwell, Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at SUNY Plattsburgh; Dr. M. Nicole Horsley, Assistant Professor at the Center for the Study of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity (CSCRE) at Ithaca College; and Clifton H. Harcum, Diversity Officer in the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at SUNY Potsdam.

“ANCA is enormously grateful to be able to host these sessions. Our white staff has already learned and absorbed so much from working with Nicky about becoming allies in this critically important movement,” said Kate Fish, ANCA Executive Director. “We invite everyone to join these sessions, ask your questions and learn.”

After registering for the event, participants will receive Zoom login information, as well as an invitation to submit questions for the panelists. For more information about the Antiracism Campaign and to register for the virtual Listen-in, visit ANCA’s website at or the ADI website at

The Adirondack Diversity Initiative’s mission is to develop and promote strategies to help the Adirondack Park become more welcoming and inclusive of all New Yorkers, both visitors and permanent residents. A more inclusive Adirondack Park will benefit not only the citizens of New York but the economic and political health of the Park as well.

ANCA is an independent, nonprofit corporation with a transformational approach to building prosperity across northern New York. ANCA’s community-informed, results-driven strategies for local food producers, small business owners, would-be entrepreneurs and municipal innovators offer targeted interventions that are designed to keep wealth and value in local communities.

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