Tianna Manon, a student in RIT’s College of Liberal Arts, will be among the community panelists on the upcoming “State of Race in Rochester: 50 years after the ’64 Riots.”
Manon, a third-year student with a dual major in journalism and political science, is part of the “Future Leaders” panel, one of two that will be featured at the community event, taking place at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30, at East High School, 1801 Main St. in Rochester.
Tavis Smiley will be the keynote presenter at the campus’ Expressions of Kings Legacy program at noon on Thursday and will moderate the community panel later that same evening. Manon and the panelists will field questions raised by Smiley and members of the audience about how far Rochester has come in addressing issues of racism and inequality since the early 1960s and the Civil Rights movement.
“It’s an absolute honor to be part of such an amazing event. Words honestly can’t describe the mix of excitement and nervousness that I feel, but overriding both of those is the pride I have in my school and community,” said Manon, who has interned at the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle newspaper; served as executive assistant for RIT’s Global Union, a student affinity group; and is the editor of TALKBACK4Teens, a social issues website and blog for young adults.
“Together, RIT and Rochester are sparking an important conversation that needs to be had but is too often ignored,” she added. “But to be honest, as much as I look forward to hearing what is said that day, I do have to admit that the coolest part is definitely being able to look back on that day and say I was a part of it all.”
The panel discussion is part of three days of activities planned for RIT’s annual Expressions of Kings Legacy celebration taking place Jan. 30–Feb. 1, including music, poetry and performances by national recording artists Dwele and Alysia Harris. Registration remains open for all events.