Community Conversation & Panel

La Crosse Reads hosts Community Conversation & Panel in partnership with the City of La Crosse Human Rights Commission (Weds. February 8th at 5:30 p.m.)

Community Conversations: La Crosse Reads

Co-hosted by La Crosse Reads and the City of La Crosse Human Rights Commission, this Community Conversation will involve local activists, experts, historians, and citizens in a conversation about the relevance of Gaines’ novel to 21st-Century La Crosse. (Sponsored by the Wisconsin Humanities Council)

Event Location: Three Rivers House (Ho-Chunk Nation), 724 Main St., La Crosse, WI 54601

Date: Wed, Feb 8, 2017
Time: 5:30pm – 8:00pm


31 community members met and gathered at the Ho-Chunk Nation’s Three Rivers House on Wednesday, February 8th, shared a meal, and discussed the implications of Gaines’ novel for our community in La Crosse in both small and large groups. After nearly two hours of conversation, participants were asked to generate a list of positive, community-building actions that could result from this event. Below is the complete list of suggestions (including repeats):

  • Read more. Celebrate Black Futures month!
  • SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice): values, meetings, events, education, campaign zero.
  • Compassion Activism.
  • EDUCATION: School Board Meetings, take our ideas to Randy Nelson, Superintendent.
  • Participate in GENA (and other neighborhood associations).
  • Start a social justice charter school
  • Think–how do we change? Confront ideology. Do research.
  • Encourage/demand a more diverse curriculum on the K-12 level.
  • Start a social justice charter school!
  • Have more conversations (UWL, Human Rights Commission) with the La Crosse Police. (Invite police to Scholar of Color events, encourage student associations–Black Student Unity, other multicultural associations–to connect with police.)
  • Public School teachers need to develop a more inclusive curriculum in a way that listens to the students and assesses the affects.
  • Inclusive marketing and advertising materials–with feedback from those who the marketing is attempting to reach (is the inclusivity represented a wish or truly representative?)
  • More community reads! (In 3 Rivers House and other community places?)

The video we watched together (featuring author Ernest Gaines) is available here.