RiverheadLOCAL will host a series of online conversations about race and diversity in Riverhead. The talks, which begin tomorrow evening, will be streamed live on this website and on the RiverheadLOCAL Facebook page.

We’re going to kick things off with four live sessions with Tijuana Fulford, founder and executive director of The Butterfly Effect Project and BEP board member Ron Fisher. They’ll be sharing their experiences as a black woman and a white man who grew up in the Flanders area in the 1990s, graduated from Riverhead High School and became acquainted years later, when Fulford launched her groundbreaking youth group for kids from underserved communities.

In four 30-minute live sessions, Fulford and Fisher will be talking with each other about George Floyd’s death and our response to it, their experience of race and racism in Riverhead, “myth busters” about race and “where do we go from here?” Each session will be followed by a 15-minute Q&A session with the audience.

The sessions will take place on Friday June 5, Monday June 8, Thursday, June 11 and Friday, June 12, beginning at 7 p.m.

We hope to continue this series with other community members. If you’d like to participate, please send me an email. Our goal is to talk with “ordinary people” as well as “leaders” about the lives they lead and what their experience has been.

Our objective is to facilitate civil conversations about this important issue.

We also hope to expand the topics of conversations to other issues in the future.

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.