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Event to Address Race Issues on Campus, in the Community

October 16, 2017

As part of an ongoing community and campus dialog about race, the Graduate Students of Color Coalition at UC Merced presents “Addressing Race in Our Community: Unifying Against Bigotry,” a special event that is free and open to the public.

The event begins at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17, in the Classroom and Office Building 2, Room 290.

The United States is at a turning point on the issue of race, the group says, with a president who has been called divisive and has been questioned for racially charged comments on everything from undocumented immigrants to sports figures kneeling during the national anthem.

Americans are asking the question “How do we heal as a nation?” This is particularly evident on college campuses, where race has become a lightning rod representative of a divided country.

With the goal of examining our own issues on race and working toward understanding rather than division, Tsia Xiong, founder and executive director of Faith in Merced, will speak on “Addressing Race in Our Community: Unifying Against Bigotry.”

De Acker, director of UC Merced’s Office of Campus Climate, will introduce Xiong, and speak on racially charged incidents on campus that these dialogs are intended to address. The Graduate Students of Color Coalition — which focuses on immigration, dignity, pathways to citizenship, and criminal justice and law enforcement reform — will also be represented among the speakers.

Faith in Merced has a rich history of building local, countywide and regional power to disrupt systems of oppression and advance a multi-issue agenda that is fundamentally about shifting the politics and the economy of the Central Valley in ways that make life better for all people.

Xiong was born in Laos and raised in a refugee camp. He came to the United States as a political refugee and settled in Stockton in 1982, before earning his bachelor’s in criminal justice from California State University, Sacramento. He has worked in the nonprofit sector for more than 27 years, including 16 years with People Improving Community Through Organizing (PICO). While there, he brought together more than 2,000 Hmong leaders for a town hall meeting to gain congressional support to exclude the Hmong from the federal Patriot Act, which tried to label the Hmong as terrorist organization.

For information on the campus event, contact Kim McMillon at


Lorena Anderson

Senior Writer and Public Information Representative

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