Race in Montana – a Community Forum



September 15th, Friday
9:00am – 4:45pm & 7:30pm – 9:00pm
(Doors open at 8:15 AM and 7:00 PM respectively)



Bozeman Public Library Large Community Meeting Room (for the day), 626 E. Main Street, Bozeman, Montana 59715

Museum of the Rockies Hager Auditorium (for the evening keynote), 600 W. Kagy Blvd., Bozeman, MT 59717



The Montana Racial Equity Project’s Race in Montana Community Forum is a day dedicated to raising our community’s awareness of racial injustices and inequities within our community while instilling skills and the impetus for that same community to create positive, lasting change.



We coexist with thousands of different backgrounds, heritages, cultures, and mindsets. Being able to see into the lives of those who are different from us empowers our community to be more inclusive and supportive towards one another. MTREP’s Race in Montana Community Forum does just that, by promoting productive conversation and opening individual’s minds to the (often harsh) realities of their neighbors and communities.

This Forum is funded in part by a grant from Humanities Montana.

Schedule (subject to change)
8:15am – 8:45am Registration Open – Bozeman Public Library
8:45 – 9am: Greeting/Acknowledgements
9-9:45: 1st panel Soverign Nations yet Wards of the Government
10-10:45: 2nd panel Unpacking Microaggressions
11-11:45: 3rd panel Cultural Appropriation
11:50 to 1pm Lunch on own
1230pm Doors open/Registration, Bozeman Public Library
1-1:45: 4th panel Racial & Cultural Bias in Marketing & Advertising (incl ableism)
2-245: 5th panel White Privilege and White Fragility
3-3:45: 6th panel Sit Down! Guidance for White Activists
4pm-4:30pm: 7th panel Stand up! Tips for Racial Justice/ Community Organizing
4:30-4:45pm Reflections on the day
4:45pm to 7pm Dinner on own

7pm Doors open at The Hager Auditorium, Museum of the Rockies
7:30-9:00 “The Bumpy Road to a Positive White Identity” followed by a moderated Q & A
As our culture confronts our nation’s legacy of racism and the ways it persists, it’s incumbent upon those who identify as white to understand racial dynamics and be open to others’ perspectives. Yet often we feel attacked and blamed, as if others see us as guilty or privileged in ways we aren’t or can’t relate to.

In this compelling evening, Kristin Barker, co-founder of White Awake (joined by Judith Heilman, Exec Dir of The Montana Racial Equity Project,) will present the common reactions and misgivings that white people have about racial equity and normalize the sometimes painful process of examining what it means for us.

Our murky, unexplored feelings about being white often create a nervousness and hesitancy to speak and connect across racial lines. Many of us:
• Feel like we’re walking on egg shells, afraid we will say “the wrong thing”
• Fear that we’ll unintentionally hurt someone and be seen as “racist”
• Feel defensive about what “White Privilege” might mean
• Support “Black Lives Matter” in theory but fear it in practice
• Sense that racial equity means that something is being taken away from “us”
• Feel bad about the legacy of racism, but don’t feel we can do anything about it
• Feel somehow guilty by association for something (our skin) over which we had no control
• Feel like there are emerging double standards and “reverse racism”

Working with these common reactions to the emerging racial dialogue is an important process of growth in understanding, in increasing our ability to address issues of race without shame, anger, undue guilt or defensiveness.