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Center for Racial Dialogue and Communal Transformation

Our Mission and Vision


NVCC’s Center for Racial Dialogue and  Communal Transformation supports the college’s mission to facilitate courageous conversations and promote positive change and healing in our community by providing opportunities for students, faculty, staff and community members to engage in respectful dialogue and learning opportunities concerning diversity and equity. 


To serve as a vehicle for dialogue and action.


Professor Kathy Taylor, JD
Founding Co-Chair

A Message from the Founding Co-Chair

"The brilliant intellectual and civil rights icon, James Baldwin reminds us that 'not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.' Here, at the Center for Racial Dialogue and Communal Transformation, we boldly face and have deep and meaningful dialogue around issues of race, injustice, systemic racism, power, hierarchy, and the multitude of ways that race shapes our experiences, interactions, and informs our perspective. In this space, we develop concrete plans of action, and offer intellectually challenging workshops that help people challenge and transform their thinking about race. We host book discussions, faculty forums, and community workshops - all in furtherance of one goal - making NVCC and our community more inclusive, equitable, and just. And I invite you to join us!"

- Professor Kathy Taylor, JD, Founding Co-Chair

Committee Members

Associate Dean Angela Chapman

Professor Joseph Faryniarz, Founding Co-Chair

Susan Houilhan, CAPSS Advisor and Retention Specialist

Professor Nikki McGary, PhD

Professor Julia Petitfere

Professor Ron Picard, PhD

Antonio Santiago, Dean of Danbury, Founding Co-Chair

Professor Elma Solomon

Professor Kathy Taylor, JD, Founding Co-Chair


Spring 2022 Center for Racial Justice and Communal Transformation Events

Separate the Facts from the Hype about Critical Race Theory
February, 15, 1-2pm

In the news, communities and school boards are talking about Critical Race Theory. If you want to separate the facts from the hype, join Professors Latisha Nielson, Nikki McGary, and Kathy Taylor as we offer an informational presentation, Critical Race Theory 101 on Tuesday, February 15th from 1 to 2 p.m. Watch for more details.

Fight for Racial Justice: Reckoning with Dismantling Systemic Racism
February 25, 7:30 pm at the Bushnell (livestreamed)
March 2022, follow-up panel discussion.

Racial Affinity Discussion Groups 
Join us for two affinity group conversations:

  • People of Color: The Whiteness of Wealth; “Tax is as Jim Crow as mass incarceration”--Dorothy Brown (The Whiteness of Wealth) (interview with Sherrilyn Ifill) & (Here and Now radio interview).
    Watch out for dates and times. If interested, please email Kathy Taylor at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • White People, So You Wanna Talk About Race? by Ijeoma Oluo facilitated by Sue Houlihan and Ron Picard. 
    Wednesdays:  2 to 3 p.m. on Feb. 23 (Preface, Ch. 1-3), Mar. 23 (Ch. 4-7), Apr. 20 (Ch. 8-12) and May 18 (Ch. 13-17) .
    The first ten participants will receive a free book. If interested, please email Sue and Ron at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Resources to Further Understanding

Articles and Books

Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

An Indigenous People’s History of the United States, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz.

Black Wealth/White Wealth: A New Perspective on Racial Inequality, Melvin L. Oliver and Thomas M. Shapiro.

Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People, Mahzarin R. Banaji, Anthony G. Greenwald. 

Categorically Unequal: The American Stratification System, Douglas S. Massey.

Catfish and Mandala: A Two-Wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam, Andrew Pham.

Class Matters: Cross-Class Alliance Building for Middle Class Activists, Betsy Leondar-Wright.

Growing Up Latino, Harold Augenbraum.

Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong, James Loewen.

Racial Divide: Racial and Ethnic Bias in the Criminal Justice System, Michael J. Lynch, E. Britt Patterson and Kristina K. Childs.

Talking Race in the Classroom, J. Bolgatz. 

The Genius of Language: Fifteen Writers Reflect on Their Mother Tongues, Wendy Lesser.

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, Michelle Alexander.

The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee, Paisley Rekdal.

The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger, Kate Pickett 

Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell.

Promoting Racial Literacy in Schools: Differences That Make a Difference, Howard C. Stevenson.

Privilege, Power, and Difference, Allan Johnson.

Raising Race Questions: Whiteness and Inquiry in Education, Michael Ali. 

Waking Up White in the Story of my Race, Irving Debbie. 

“How to Talk About Race”:

Intergroup Resources’ “Talking about Race”:

Lowery’s “Bridging the Racial Divide Through CrossRacial Dialogue: Lessons and Reflections from My Experience as a Facilitator” in Journal of Critical Thought and Praxis. 

“Flipping the Switch: White Privilege and Community Building, Maggie Potapchuk, Sally Leiderman, Donna Bivens and Barbara Major”:


*If Beale Street Could Talk (2018):

*Just Mercy (2019):

*Selma (2015):

The Hate U Give (2018):

When They See Us (TV series based on a true story):

Cracking the Codes:

Race the Power of Illusion:


The House I Live In:

 * [note: these titles are coming soon through our library’s Swank account:]

Websites and Organizations

ADL: Fighting Hate for Good:

Resources from the Annie E. Casey Foundation:

Tools from Racial Equity:

Standing Rock Syllabus:

Resources from the Catalyst Project, Anti-Racism for Collective Liberation:

Interfaith Toolkit for Challenging Racism:

Black Lives Matter:


BGD: Amplifying the Voices of Queer and Trans People of Color:

Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society:

Racial Equity Alliance:

Zinn Education Project: Teaching People’s History:

Hispanic Research Center’s Cultural Competence Guide for Community Based Organizations:

W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Racial Equity Resource Guide:

 Establishing an Equity Team:

National Association for Multicultural Education:

Southern Poverty Law Center: