Re-Thinking Thanksgiving – Please join us!
| November 12, 2013 | 7:36 pm | Uncategorized | Comments closed



This lively, engaging, and content-based presentation will give an overview of the history of this very misunderstood holiday. Based on the only primary source documents that chronicle the “First Thanksgiving” and using a quiz-style format (everyone will ‘take’ the quiz as part of the program), participants will learn accurate and culturally appropriate information about the English settlers at Plimoth and the Wampanoag, the Native people who inhabited that area.

The presentation will discuss the actual events of 1621 including the feast, the relationship between the English settlers and the Wampanoag and how this story became the holiday we know today. The concept of thanksgiving held by many Native Americans will be emphasized throughout.

Although they were not present in Plymouth in 1621, connections to the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) concepts of Thanksgiving will be discussed so students will understand how Native Peoples view Thanksgiving today.

Biography of Presenter – Perry Ground
Perry Ground is a Turtle Clan member of the Onondaga Nation of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy. He has been telling stories for over 20 years as a means of educating people about the culture, beliefs and history of the Haudenosaunee. Perry learned most of the stories he shares from the elders of various Native American communities and feels that practicing and perpetuating the oral traditions of Native people is an important responsibility.

Perry also gives presentations on a variety of aspects of Haudenosaunee history and culture. Sharing information in age-appropriate, engaging ways allows Perry to dispel stereotypes and misconceptions about Native People.

Professionally, Perry has worked in several museums including The Children’s Museum of Houston, Sainte Marie among the Iroquois, Shako:wi Cultural Center and Ganondagan State Historic Site. He has shared his stories in countless museums, libraries, classrooms, and festivals throughout the northeast and also has guest lectured at numerous colleges. Currently, Perry is the Project Director of the Native American Resource Center in Rochester, NY.

RSVP on Facebook:

First Peoples’ Festival ~ Saturday, October 5, 2013
| August 28, 2013 | 7:02 pm | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

fpf12-button-2_25MRC’s First Peoples’ Festival ~ Saturday, October 5th, 2013, Dewitt Park, downtown Ithaca, 10 am to 5:30 pm. 

Start spreading the word to families and friends. Thank you.

11 am Traditional opening by Tadodaho Sid Hill, Onondaga; welcome by Mayor Svante Myrick and Dan Hill, Cayuga Nation

Performances by:
• Cattaraugus Singers and Dancers
• Dan Hill, Cayuga, Flute
• Irma-Estel Laquerre, Taina/Aztec/Tarasco – Stories
• Emilio Benites, Peruvian, Flute
• Atsiaktonkie, Mohawk Musician

More details coming…..

Children’s activities include Amazing Pete and his incredible balloon creations, water drums, building projects led by Home Depot staff, face painting and more.

We welcome Indigenous vendors (no fees charged) and if interested please contact Audrey J. Cooper, 607-272-2292 or

The festival is co-sponsored by the Multicultural Resource Center, Cornell University and the CU American Indian Program, Ithaca College Center for the Study of Race, Culture and Ethnicity and its Native American Studies Program, Ithaca College Event Services, Home Depot and Downtown Ithaca Alliance in partnership with the Apple Harvest Festival. The festival is funded in part by the Community Arts Partnership and the Tompkins County Tourism Program.

U2O April 8, 15, 22, at the State Theatre! An All-Community Viewing of “Race: The Power of An Illusion”!
| April 3, 2013 | 5:43 pm | Uncategorized | Comments closed

IMAGINE, 1,000 community members from across Ithaca and Tompkins County coming together at the State Theatre to watch, listen, learn, and understand together. Join friends, neighbors and co-workers for this powerful film series that could forever change our community!


It is not easy to talk about or make sense of race. Ask 10 people to define it and you’re likely to get 10 different answers. On few topics have there been so many assumptions, myths and misperceptions. And yet the ramifications of race- the meaning that we place on the color of one’s skin- continues to be real, and still has very real consequences for our country and our community.

On April 8th, 15th and 22nd, from 6:30 – 8:30 pm, hundreds of friends, neighbors and coworkers across Ithaca and Tompkins County will come together at the historic State Theatre of Ithaca, to view the eye-opening and powerful three-part series (one hour episodes, one episode each night) PBS documentary, Race: The Power of An Illusion. Each episode will be introduced by a pair of community leaders including, Cornell University President David Skorton with Marcia Fort, Dr.Sean Eversley Bradwell with Jean McPheeters, and Svante Myrick with Don Barber. Episodes will be followed by a small panel and facilitated conversation about the film and its relevance today.

Race: The Power of An Illusion! examines the biological myth of race, and its social and political construction.  Until we understand the myths of race and see its lasting impact on society, and in our community today, we cannot have the important conversations to move forward. First we must understand, then we can overcome.

For more information about the Understand to Overcome (U2O) initiative, visit, or contact Schelley Michell-Nunn at, or Brigid Hubberman at or 607.227.3360.


Across Ithaca and Tompkins County, community members have been gathering in their places of work, neighborhoods, civic groups, and organizations they belong to, to watch and have conversations about Race: The Power of An Illusion.

Copies of the film are still in circulation at public libraries throughout Tompkins County. The film will also be shown on television, on the public access, Channel 13. Businesses and organizations interested in offering screenings of the film are invited to pick up a DVD and information on hosting a viewing at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County, 615 Willow Avenue, Ithaca, and the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce, 904 E. Shore Dr., Ithaca.


Race: The Power of An Illusion is a Three Part Series

Episode One: The Difference Between Us examines the contemporary science that challenges our common sense assumptions that human beings can be bundled into three or four fundamentally different groups according to their physical traits.

Episode Two: The Story We Tell uncovers the roots of the race concept in North America, the 19th century science that legitimated it, and how it came to be held so fiercely in the western imagination. The episode is an eye-opening tale of how race served to rationalize, even justify, American social inequalities as “natural.”

Episode Three: The House We Live In asks: If race is not biology, what is it? This episode uncovers how race resides not in nature but in politics, economics and culture. It reveals how our social institutions “make” race by disproportionately channeling resources, power, status and wealth to some.


Inspired by participating in the Multicultural Resource Center’s Talking Circles on Race and Racism, the Social Justice Committee of the Ithaca Friends (Quakers) Meeting hosted a public viewing of the three-part PBS Series, Race: The Power of An Illusionin Spring 2012. Inspired by the powerful and personal impact of the film series, a few viewers spoke afterwards about how more of the community could have the same experience.  When Schelley Michell-Nunn shared her vision for everyone in the community seeing the film at the same time, they committed to join together to make that vision a reality. Understand to Overcome was selected as the title for the initiative, recognizing that before we can come together to take action to overcome the challenges our community faces, we must all first understand why our present state exists.


Schelley E. Michell-Nunn, City of Ithaca,
Audrey J. Cooper, Multicultural Resources Center (MRC)
Karen Friedeborn, Ithaca Youth Bureau
Jeri Gallucci, MRC Talking Circles White Allies
Diane Hamilton, Greenstar Cooperative Market
Brigid Hubberman, Family Reading Partnership
Paula E. F. Younger, Tompkins County Government

2013 Sister Friends Celebration of Women and Girls!
| January 30, 2013 | 7:01 pm | Uncategorized | Comments closed

Save the Date – Sister Friends March 14th

Ninth Annual Sister Friends Event March 14, 2013
Featuring Irma Laquerre, Actress & Indigenous Storyteller
Emerson Suites, Ithaca College
10am – 2:30pm; Tickets $20

Tickets On Sale Beginning February 11th at MRC or GIAC!

Save the date for the Ninth Annual Sister Friends event Thursday, March 14th at Ithaca College in Emerson Suites. The event celebrates women and girls of all ages. This year’s guest artist is Irma Laquerre, actress and Indigenous storyteller.

The event opens at 10am with a Women’s Market featuring local female entrepreneurs and many fine products including jewelry, clothing, body care, and more. At 11:30 am the buffet luncheon begins and the program goes from 12:00 – 1:30 pm. The Women’s Market will remain open until 2:30 pm.

Tickets for the event cost $20 and can be purchased beginning February 11th at two locations:

  •  The Multicultural Resource Center (MRC), 615 Willow Ave, Ithaca. 272-2292 ext 135
  •  The Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC), 301 W. Court St, Ithaca. 272-3622

You can also reserve your ticket by mailing checks/money order to MRC, 615 Willow Ave, Ithaca, NY 14850 with the memo Sister Friends. This event will sell out so purchase your tickets beginning February 11th.

For more information, please contact MRC Director Audrey Cooper at 607-272-2292 ext 135.

This event is sponsored by the Multicultural Resource Center; Greater Ithaca Activities Center; City of Ithaca Human Resources Department; Ithaca College; Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County; Cornell University; Center for Transformative Action; GreenStar Community Projects; Tompkins County Human Rights Commission; McGraw House; Baker Travel

Moosewood to host Benefit Brunch for Multicultural Resource Center
| January 30, 2013 | 5:41 pm | Uncategorized | Comments closed

Sunday February 24, 2013, Moosewood Restaurant is hosting a special benefit brunch for the Multicultural Resource Center (MRC). Two seatings are available at 10:30am and 12:00pm. The cost of the brunch is $18 per seat and includes a frittata or vegan entrée, cup of soup, vegetable side, breads, fruit, and juice, coffee or tea. Over ninety percent of the proceeds will directly support the Multicultural Resource Center.

Moosewood Restaurant is located at 215 N. Cayuga St. in the Dewitt Mall. Reserve your seat now by calling Liz Field at 607-280-1960 or email Seating is limited and will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis. Please let us know if you would like a vegan entrée. Please pay in advance by mailing a check or money order to MRC, 615 Willow Ave. Ithaca, NY 14850.

***Please do not call Moosewood for reservations.***

In addition to brunch, MRC will be holding a silent auction and raffle with some fabulous prizes including Moosewood cookbooks and gift bags, two weekend passes to Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance, a one-night stay at Frog’s Way Bed and Breakfast, massage gift certificates, gift baskets from local businesses and more. If you would like to donate an item or service from your business, please email

MRC is a small, grassroots non-profit organization. Its mission is to create dialogue around diversity issues, particularly racism, in Tompkins County, and to facilitate community leadership on these issues by helping to empower people to embrace our community’s ethnic and cultural diversity.

MRC provides consulting and advocacy services, and coordinates the Talking Circles on Race and Racism program, which has held 55 circles to date, trained 42 facilitators and led circles for 582 participants. MRC also offers film and discussion series’, hosts and coordinates the First Peoples’ Festival in September, and co-hosts many other multicultural events throughout the year.

MRC’s goals are to:
Advocate for social justice and systems change.
Provide educational outreach to increase inclusion in our community.
Build multicultural alliances across cultural differences.
Fo For more information on MRC, please call 607-272-2292 ext — or visit: