University News

Community Organization to Host Racial Justice Workshops

February 10, 2020

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MACOMB, IL – The First Christian Church in Macomb and the Macomb Interfaith Alliance will host a series of racial justice workshops over the next five Tuesdays, beginning tomorrow at 6:30 p.m.

Sarah E. Schoper, who spent the past 19 years working within higher education as a faculty member and administrator, including at Western Illinois University, will lead the discussions.

"As someone who grew up in the Midwest where I thought I was a kind, inclusive, nice person I didn't have to give much thought to my race, I am white. My family didn't tell racist jokes, but it also never spoke about race," Schoper explained. "It was upon leaving the Midwest and having a variety of experiences in many different places, where I came to learn about individual and systemic racism."

Schoper, among with other community and University leaders, hosted the initial series of workshops in Fall 2019 at the First Presbyterian Church in Macomb. Because of the success of the workshops, Schoper worked with the Rev. Kelly Ingersoll of the First Christian Church in Macomb and a member of Macomb's Interfaith Alliance to offer similar workshops this spring.

"I want to make sure that everyone in the community was getting an opportunity to understand racism and to me, that meant someone needed to help White people, like me, understand," she added.

Individuals can sign up for one or all five workshops at The workshops are open free to the public.

Workshops, which will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the First Christian Church in Macomb, include:

"Are We Listening?," Tuesday, Feb. 11
"Is it Really About Race?," Tuesday, Feb. 18
"Why am I Being Told to "Check my Privilege?," Tuesday, Feb. 25
"How Does This Exist Around me?," TBD, Week of March 1-7
"Talking is Great, but What Else Can I Do?," Tuesday, March 10

For more information, contact Schoper at

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations