Race and racism topic of four-art session [Ellicott City]

Howard County Times

In November 2017, U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings hosted the “Faith Based Forum & Dialogue on Racism and Patriotism” event in Columbia. The program brought together Howard County faith leaders and persons of faith — Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Unitarian Universalist and others — to talk more honestly and openly about issues of race and racism.

To continue the community dialogue, faith leaders from six Howard County parishes will host a four-part series of “Courageous Dialogue about Race” small conversation circles that run from February to May.

Comprised of 10 to 12 persons, each conversation circle will take place on the fourth Tuesday of each month beginning Feb. 27 and then March 27, April 24 and May 22, from 7 to 8:45 p.m. at six places of worship throughout Howard County: St. John Baptist Church, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia, Beth Shalom Congregation, Glen Mar United Methodist Church, Maryum Islamic Center and St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church.

The conversation circles will feature trained facilitators who will “guide participants through a process of uncovering biases and then developing and practicing new behaviors to change those biases,” according to the program description. “The more we share honest dialogue with one another, the more adept we’ll become at confronting our own implicit biases and dismantling racism in our communities.”

Glen Mar United Methodist Church, 4701 New Cut Road, is the only location in Ellicott City. However, you may attend any location. To register for free tickets, go to eventbrite.com and search “Courageous Dialogue about Race.”

Tickets are now on sale for The Zaching Against Cancer Foundation’s fourth annual Living the Dream Gala on Saturday, Feb. 24 from 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.

Founded in 2013 by University of Maryland student Zachary Lederer and his parents, John and Chris Lederer, the Zaching Against Cancer Foundation works to carry on Zachary’s dream of helping families fighting cancer.

The Ellicott City resident battled brain cancer twice in his short life before passing away in 2014. During his heroic fight, a photo showing Zachary post surgery making a strongman pose as a sign of strength, courage, determination and hope went viral. The pose became known as “Zaching” and inspired people around the world, including celebrities and athletes, to make “Zaching” photos to show their support of Lederer and all those battling cancer.

“Zachary always said he was ‘living the dream’ because he was able to help other cancer patients and their families through his words and inspiration, and then through the Zaching Against Cancer Foundation,” said executive director of the Zaching Against Cancer Foundation, and Zachary Lederer’s father, John Lederer.

The gala will raise funds to further Zachary’s mission of #LivingtheDream by supporting cancer patients and their caregivers through programs, services, scholarships and more. The event features an open bar, live music from Misspent Youth, great food, a live and silent auction, and access to the Stadium’s North Club Level with spectacular views of the Baltimore Ravens’ home field.

“His family is honored to continue this legacy through the Foundation, and this event, and we invite everyone to come out and show your support for families in our community going through the toughest fight of their lives,” continued John.

Gala tickets are $175. A special ‘Friends of Zach’ ticket rate of $125 is available for attendees 25 years old and younger. Parking is included in ticket prices. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to zachingagainstcancer.org.

On Saturday, Feb. 24 from 7 to 10 p.m., Waverly Elementary School PTA hosts its Basket Bingo/Silent Auction night at The Catonsville Lodge.

This school fundraiser features adult, family and child prizes and auction items such as Walt Disney World passes, Great Wolf Lodge family-fun package, Black Ankle winery private tasting, Mathnasium tutoring lessons, baseball clinics, Merriweather Post Pavilion tickets and gift cards to 60 sixty area restaurants.

Go to waverlypta.net to purchase $20 advance tickets or pay $30 at the door. Elementary-age children and older are welcome to attend and play bingo with the purchase of a ticket. Children must remain with parents during the event. For more information, contact Kelly Balchunas at usf1998@me.com.

Welcome PURE Meditation Studio to historic downtown Ellicott City. Owned and operated by Nicole De Chirico and Tamara Van Newkirk, the wellness center will offer guided mediation sessions for all levels including an introduction to mediation class. In addition, the studio will host monthly mediation-based workshops. For more information, go to puremeditationstudio.com.

On Saturday, Feb. 24, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Miller Branch Library in the Ellicott/Patapsco room), Girl Up will host the second annual Howard County Regional Girl Up Leadership Summit for middle and high school students in Maryland.

Girl Up is a United Nations Foundation non-profit program to support the empowerment of girls everywhere, especially disadvantaged girls in developing countries.

“The purpose of the event is to introduce students to Girl Up, teach valuable skills in political advocacy and inspire students to take leadership as gender equality advocates in their respective schools,” wrote Julie Wang, a Centennial High School senior and the founder/co-president of Centennial's Girl Up.

The regional summit will feature female professionals speakers including Nora Franco of Planned Parenthood Metropolitan Washington Action Fund, Heidi Griswold of Hopeworks, and Tracy Turner, executive director of the Howard County Tech Council. In addition, the program includes workshops on how to advocate for national Girl Up-related legislation and a student internship and volunteer fair.

The summit cost is $10 and includes lunch. All proceeds go to Girl Up.

“....although this event is officially sponsored by the national Girl Up campaign, planning efforts are lead by local high school student leaders – truly "by girls, for girls" (although boys are welcome to attend as well)!,” Wang wrote. To register, go to girlup.org and search “Maryland” and click on “2018 Howard County Regional Summit.”

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