Our Story Conference to Focus on Interracial Relationships

Posted on October 21st, 2009 by

Wendy Coakley-Thompson will deliver the keynote address at this year's Our Story Conference.

Wendy Coakley-Thompson will deliver the keynote address at this year's Our Story Conference.

The 2009 Our Story Conference at Gustavus Adolphus College is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 7 and will focus on interracial relationships. The conference is free and open to the public and will feature keynote speaker Wendy Coakley-Thompson.

Coakley-Thompson is a writer and respected scholar who has established a precedence of addressing hard-hitting, controversial issues in both her fiction and academic works. Her debut novel, Back to Life, centered on an interracial relationship between an Italian-American male and African-American female in the aftermath of the murder of a black teenager by an Italian mob in 1989. Coakley-Thompson’s other works include What You Won’t Do For Love and her latest novel, Triptych.

Coakley-Thompson was born to West Indian parents in Brooklyn N.Y., and raised in Nassau Bahamas. Having a biracial grandmother and coming from a racially diverse West Indian family and culture has driven her to explore race relations, interracial marriage, and colorism in her scholarly and mainstream fiction writings.

Coakley-Thompson will deliver the keynote address from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Alumni Hall, located in the O.J. Johnson Student Union. Concurrent one-hour workshops will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Board Room and the Heritage Room, which are both located on the upper level of the C. Charles Jackson Campus Center. One workshop session will focus on breaking the myths of interracial dating and the other will feature a discussion of the movie Jungle Fever.

Activities associated with the Our Story Conference are also scheduled for earlier in the week. A dating game show that will pair students of different races to go on dates will take place from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2 in the Evelyn Young Dining Room.

There will also be a faculty/staff panel from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4 in the Courtyard Café. Gustavus faculty and staff members who are part of an interracial relationship will share their thoughts and experiences and take questions from the audience.

The Our Story Conference is sponsored by the Pan-Afrikan Student Organization (PASO) at Gustavus. For more information about the conference, contact student Kareen Getfield at kgetfiel@gustavus.edu.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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