Virtual event held on ‘Transversing Spaces’

Julie Zaborowski, Staff Reporter

The Academy of Lifelong Learning will be holding its second course of a three-part series called “Transversing Spaces: Increasing Empathy, Understanding, and Equity Cross Colors.” The last one will be Tues., Feb. 2. The course is open to the public, meaning students, faculty, staff, and members of the community are all able to attend. The goal of this course is to provide people with opportunities to learn new skills and talk about important topics, and explore new areas of learning.

This free event was held virtually from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. with Dr. Carole Collins Ayanlaja.

The course takes a deeper look into race and what it means to be racist. Ayanlaja will also explore and explain the reality of institutional racism. The objective of this event is to make sure those who attended leave having a better point of view of empathy and race. By comprehending these things, people will have an awareness of our current complex issues with race.

The events are meant to help attendees have a better understanding of how our identity and others are shaped we need to understand that everyone’s background is different. Things that effect your identity are race, gender, socioeconomic status, birth order, religion and ethnicity differ from person to person and that can make someone’s personality different from another.

Dr. Ayanlaja educated those who attended on the history of race in the United States, finding their own identities and better understanding how their identities have been shaped. By better understanding your identity, you can better comprehend how other think.

Ayanlaja went over the race talk and discussed how difficult it might be to have that conversion. When having the race talk Dr. Ayanlaja stated that we should stay engaged, speak your truth, expect and accept non-closure and respect the integrity of varied perspective.

“We are not born with clean slates,” stated Dr. Ayanjala when speaking about being born as an African American woman in the United States. “In our society it is embedded to have someone check a box and declare a race.”

“We come into this world our race and we die our race,” said Dr. Ayanlaja when speaking about how importion race and ethnicity is in America.

She talks about the struggles that mixed children and adults deal with throughout their life. They struggle because they don’t know where they fit in and end up feeling divided because they don’t fit in with their white peers or their black ones.  Though attending all three sessions is recommended, it is not required. People can feel free to attend any of the three sessions.

The Academy will also be hosting other events throughout the school year If people are interested in attending, they can do so at or call (217) 581-5114.


Julie Zaborowski can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]