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The Daily Tar Heel

Lesra Martin to Speak for Race Relations Week

Students for the Advancement of Race Relations, a division of the Campus Y, is sponsoring Race Relations Week Oct. 8 through Oct. 12, hoping to answer some of these questions and unite people in a common understanding, said Reena Arora, SARR co-chairwoman.

"The point of the week is to bring about awareness and basically bring people together," Arora said. "It's about knowing our differences and accepting them."

This year's events fall under the theme "The Power of One." Arora said the theme signifies the power of one person to be able to make a difference and to break down racial barriers. She said the theme came from many sources, including the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and from the SARR's keynote speaker for the week, Lesra Martin.

Martin was the 15-year-old boy who spearheaded the movement that would later free boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter from wrongful imprisonment for murder. Martin will speak at two events during Race Relations Week.

Martin will lead a discussion Tuesday on the significance of student leadership on a campus and a student's role in society. He later will lecture on his search for justice while opposing racial inequality.

This year's Race Relations Week has more events and involves many more student groups than in previous years, said Paymon Rouhanifard, SARR co-chairman. Sangam, Students Engaged in Technology and Project Literacy are all participating in the event for the first time.

Minority groups that previously have received little attention are the focus of several events this year, organizers said. One such event is "Zoot Suit Riot" on Wednesday, during which Rosa Perelmutter, associate professor of romance languages, will explore Latino culture, language and cultural barriers.

"This Race Relations Week is really action-packed," Rouhanifard said. "There's so many events and such a wide variety of events."

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