What is the Race Relations Project?

The project began in 2002 at Penn State University and now has 2 satellite campuses; including one here at ESU! The Race Relations Project is an exploration of relationships between people of different cultural and ancestral groups.

From academic years 2008 to 2014, there were estimated 1,000 students who participated in Race Relations Project. On September 3, 2013, East Stroudsburg University became independent from Penn State University’s Race Relations Program.

RRP Mission Statement:

The mission of the RRP is to create a neutral environment for dialogue where individuals can voice their true concerns and opinions about race relations. Discussions are guided by trained facilitators who employ the Socratic Method of dialogue. The Socratic Method of dialogue emphasizes questions and the mutual exchange of opinions. These discussions are open-ended, and unlike traditional classroom settings, the facilitator does not take the role of teacher, expert or critic.

The Conversations:

The conversations are 60 minutes; peer facilitated, with small groups of up to 8-15 people. Trained student facilitators help participant explore their personal stories, views, biases, and roles in race relations. These inquiry based sessions are designed to discuss the true nature of race relations face to face in an ideologically neutral and comfortable environment.

What does it mean to be a Facilitator?

Facilitators are undergraduate students. Responsibilities of a Facilitator:

  • As planners and organizers of Race Relation conversations and sessions.
  • To help guide the discussion among students.
  • To ensure that the environment is open, non-hostile, and conducive the free flow of ideas.
  • To help the participants to explore their own personal opinions, feelings and experiences about race.
  • To begin conversations during the session by probing questions regarding race and racial biases issues.