Participants in the county's race relations study circles meet each other in an opening exercise. Linda Suggs greets Mac McClintock and Lalitha Racindrananth welcomes Jeanette Pettit. Study circles are groups from different backgrounds and viewpoints who meet to explore race relations and local solutions to racism. Photo courtesy of SMCM.
ST. MARY'S CITY, Md. - Many people talk about improving race relation, but a growing number of people in the community are actually doing something about it. Race Relations Study Circles are the first community-wide groups to meet in St. Mary's County. Three groups have met since January to solve local problems. St. Mary's College of Maryland, St. Mary's County Public Schools (SMCPS), and the St. Mary's County Human Relations Commission are sponsors of this effort.
Study circles are groups of eight to twelve people from different backgrounds and viewpoints who meet two hours a week for six weeks to explore race relations. The groups are moderated by trained leaders and focus on local race-relations issues deemed important by the group's members. Study circles are a democratic dialogue, organized on a large scale.
Mac McClintock, one of the group leaders, said, "I think we all know that racism still exists in our community. The goal of the Study Circles program is to find ways to address and overcome racism in housing, employment and daily life."
The goals of study circles are for people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds to: listen respectfully to one another, look at different sides of an issue and explore common concerns, come up with practical ways to address racism, take action on their ideas, and test their solutions over the long run. The group will come together on June 7 to make recommendations on initiatives and reforms on race relations to local elected and civic leaders.
Active members of the study circle include: Joe Anderson from Drayden, Mary R. Boyd from La Plata, Sylvia Thompson Brown from Loveville, Robin Burt from Lexington Park, Tim Cameron from Leonardtown, Angela Mae Carroll from Ridge, Brenda Carroll from Lexington Park, J. Bradley Clements from Loveville, Jill Clemmer from St. Mary's City, Ray Coston from Lexing-ton Park, Lizette Day from Hollywood, Karen Everett from Leonardtown, John Felicitas from Leonardtown, Alonzo Gaskin from Dameron, John Giusti from St. Mary's City, Joanne Goldwa-ter from Lexington Park, Cindy Griffith from Piney Point, Cindy Groyles from Tall Timbers, Dora Hanna from Compton, Maria T. Harris from Lexington Park, Andrew Holton from Holly-wood, Alma Jordon from Valley Lee, Mike Kelly Great Mills, Peary Knight from Lexington Park, Pat Kohli from Lexington Park, Henry Latham from Bushwood, Theresa Leonard from St. Inigoes, Kelly Lynch from Lexington Park, Kathleen Lyon, Andy Macyko from Patuxent River, Theresa L. Mason from Mechanicsville, Adrianne Mathis from Valley Lee, Elfreda M. Mathis Valley Lee, Jack McCauley Leonardtown, Joyce McClintock Lexington Park, Dick Myers from California, Helen Newell from Great Mills, Walter Nilsson from Great Mills, Ernestine Pence from Hollywood, Jeanette Pettit from Lexington Park, Norma Pupkin from California, Giselle M. Rahn from St. Mary's City, Laitha Ravindranath from Lexington Park, Robin Ricks from St. Mary's City, Leslie Roberts from Leonardtown, J. Edward Robinson from Lexington Park, La-Wanda Robinson from Lexington Park, Phil Rollins from Leonardtown, Jack Russell from Piney Point, Kelsey Saunders from Lexington Park, James M. Savaney from Roswell GA, John Savitch, Veronica Scriber from California, Benjamin Simmons from Leonardtown, Patricia Smith from Lexington Park, Dorothea Holt Smith from Waldorf, Louise Snell from Hollywood, Kevin D. Somerville from Loveville, J. Blaine Somerville from Loveville, Chuck Stein from Lexington Park, Virginia Stein from Lexington Park, Kevin Suggs from Hollywood, Linda Suggs from Hollywood, Linda Thomas from Lexington Park, Cindy Traub Lexington Park, Jake Triplett from Lexington Park, Karin M. Walcott from Lexington Park, Ken Walker from Lexing-ton Park, Janice Walthour from Lexington Park, Mary M. Washington from Lexington Park, John Weiner from, Ray Wernecke from Leonardtown, Lewis C Whalen from Charlotte Hall, El-eanor Whalen from Charlotte Hall, Marcellus T. Wiggins from, Callaway, Louise S. Wilkerson from Lexington Park, Patrick T. Wilkerson from Lexington, and Charlottis Woodley from Loveville.
The organizing committee includes Marc Apter, SMCM; Patricia Barry-Utzig, SMCPS; Honora Batelka, SMCPS; Cynthia Brown, St. Mary's County Government; Kelsey Bush, St. Mary's County Government; Theo Cramer, SMCPS; Jim Hanley, retired human resources director; Deanna Mingo, SMCPS; and Mac McClintock, SMCM.
If you would like to participate in the next round of Race Relation Study Circles contact Marc Apter at mlapter (at) smcm.edu or 301-904-3690.