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Unifying Against Bigotry

October 17, 2017 - 1:30pm to 2:30pm
Everyone is invited to "Addressing Race in Our Community: Unifying Against Bigotry," sponsored by the Graduate Students of Color Coalition at UC Merced. The event begins at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17, in the Classroom and Office Building 2, Room 290, on the UC Merced campus. It is free and open to everyone. The United States is at a turning point on the issue of race. With a president who has been called divisive and questioned for racially charged comments on everything from undocumented immigrants to sports figures kneeling during the national anthem, Americans are asking the question “How do we heal as a nation?” Nowhere is this more evident than on college campuses where race has become a lightning rod representative of a divided country. With the goal of examining our own issues on race and working toward understanding rather than division, Tsia Xiong, founder and executive director of Faith in Merced, will speak at the event. De Acker, director of UC Merced's Office of Campus Climate, will introduce Xiong and discuss racially charged incidents on campus. Members of UC Merced’s Graduate Students of Color Coalition, which focuses on immigration, dignity and pathways to citizenship and criminal justice and law enforcement reforms, will also speak. Faith in Merced has a rich history of building local, countywide and regional power to disrupt systems of oppression, and advance a multi-issue agenda that is fundamentally about shifting the politics and the economy of the Central Valley in ways that make life better for all people. Xiong was born in Laos and raised in a refugee camp. He came to the United States as a political refugee and settled in Stockton in 1982. Xiong earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from California State University, Sacramento, and has worked in the nonprofit sector for more than 27 years, including 16 years with People Improving Community through Organizing. One of his major successes with that group was bringing together more than 2,000 Hmong leaders for a town hall meeting to gain congressional support to exclude the Hmong from the federal Patriot Act that categorized the Hmong as terrorist organization. For more information on the UC Merced event, contact Kim McMillon at


Classroom and Office Building 2, 290

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