The University of Akron’s annual Rethinking Race conference kicks off this Friday. The two-week forum, which includes lectures and discussions, film screenings and plays is now in its eleventh year.

Amy Shriver Dreussi is a professor of social science at the university and one of the organizers of the conference. She says it’s evolved over time in response to current events.

photo of University of Akron College of Education

About 100 people were at the University of Akron’s College of Education tonight to discuss ways that educators can engage young people to talk about race.

The panelists frequently said students from middle school through college want to discuss social justice and race in the face of the NFL’s “take a knee” controversy and recent sexual harassment allegations against film mogul Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby.

John Queener teaches in the university’s psychology department and says the first step toward fostering conversation is to create a safe space in the classroom.