Middlesex United Way hosting seminar on microaggressions

MIDDLETOWN — Social change is something many are asking for, but not everyone knows where to start. The Middlesex United Way Young Leaders Society is inviting everyone to join them March 11 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. for a virtual educational experience with speaker LeRon Barton.
Connecticut United Way Young professional groups will come together with community partners to host the virtual event, “Exploring Microaggressions: A Conversation with LeRon Barton.”
This event will explore microaggressions, defining what they are and how they are harmful. Microaggressions are often unconscious actions or statements that may impact others without the microaggressor even knowing.
LeRon will discuss what it is to practice allyship and share personal stories, as well as stories of colleagues and family. Throughout the event, participants will have the opportunity to engage in a dialogue related to recognizing, addressing, and combating microaggressions, all in a supportive, safe, and inclusive environment.
LeRon L. Barton is a writer from Kansas City, Mo., living in San Francisco. A graduate of Paseo Academy of Fine Arts, LeRon is the author of two books, “Straight Dope: A 360 degree look into American Drug Culture” and “All We Really Need Is Love: Stories of Dating, Relationships, Heartbreak, and Marriage.”
He is also an essayist whose topics cover racism, mass incarceration, politics, gender and dating. These works have appeared in Black Enterprise, Salon, Harvard Business Review, The Good Men Project, Your Tango, Media Diversity, Raconteur, Elephant Journal, East Bay Times, and MoAD.
LeRon is an international speaker who has given multiple talks and appeared on TEDx, Al Jazeera, the University of San Francisco, Navis, Speakers Who Dare, Nas Dubai, Glide Memorial Church, The City of Cupertino, Los Altos Chamber of Commerce, Square, and Defy Ventures. In his spare time, LeRon enjoys mentoring African-American youth, teaching creative writing at the San Francisco County Jail, and backpacking around the world.
Connecticut United Ways young professional groups provide networking, volunteering, and leadership development opportunities for young leaders who live or work in Middlesex County, Greater Hartford and Windham Region, Greater Waterbury. Members are committed to making a difference in our communities by leveraging the power of United Way to connect, serve and grow.
The event is brought to you by the collective partnership between Middlesex United Way Young Leaders Society, United Way of Northeastern and Central Emerging Young Leaders, and United Way of Greater Waterbury Emerging Leaders. Additional partners include Hartford Young Professionals & Entrepreneurs, Urban League Greater Hartford Young Professionals, and YWCA Hartford Region.
Collectively, Connecticut United Ways have been working toward creating communities that are equitable and inclusive. While each of us has been affected by COVID-19 differently, the pandemic has emphasized the health and economic inequalities of people of color.
The event cost $10, and funds raised will directly support local individuals and families most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. To register, please visit bit.ly/3qkHa6M or contact Amanda Furlong atamanda.furlong@middlesexunitedway.org.
Kevin Wilhelm is president and CEO of the Middlesex United Way in Middletown.