“Community Building in our Diverse Community”, a forum designed to increase community unity by increasing understanding and acceptance of diverse cultures and viewpoints will be held Thursday, Jan. 12.

The forum will explore the definitions of harassment, hate crimes and graffiti and will explain options and resources for preventing and reporting of these issues. It will also feature a facilitated discussion about how communities can build unity, increase cultural interaction and understanding.

The event will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 12 at Crossroads Community Center, 16000 NE 10th St. Admission is free, but reservations are requested by 12 noon on Jan. 11. To RSVP and for more information, contact Kevin Henry at khenry@bellevuewa.gov or 425-452-7886.

Speakers will include Bellevue Police Chief Linda Pillo and author Warren Read.

Bellevue Police Chief Pillo will discuss what individuals can do if they feel they have been harassed because of their cultural, social or religious background. She will also discuss appropriate reporting and responses to graffiti.

Read will examine the social and economic causes of discrimination and bias, and share what communities can do to build unity and address cultural and social conflict. Read is a popular keynote speaker and the author of the “Lyncher in Me” – a book about racial incidents in the US in the early 1920s. Find out more at http://www.warren-read.com/.

This program is part of an ongoing discussion series sponsored by the City of Bellevue Parks & Community Services Cultural Diversity Program called “Conversations about Race & Culture” that aims to build community and increase cultural appreciation and understanding in Bellevue.

For more information, contact Kevin P. Henry at khenry@bellevuewa.gov, 425-452-7886.

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