| Program: || Minority Round Table of Hampton Roads, Virginia Beach, VA |
| Contact(s): || Oneida R. Lacey, Vice-Chairman: (757) 467-2927 |
| Purpose: || To encourage communication and foster positive relationships among all ethnic communities |
Minority Round Table was founded in 1994, and officially approved to operate in Virginia in 1997. In 1994, community leaders in Hampton Roads, Va., were concerned with the state's school systems and the existing education policies. As the cultural and ethnic diversity of the city increased, policies affecting the disparity in educational opportunities for minority students, and the definition of what constituted a "minority" student remained unchanged. The leaders created the Minority Round Table of Hampton Roads (MRT) to deal with these concerns.
More than 10 ethnic communities constitute the membership of MRT. These groups develop programs that allow the members to work together on common issues and organize meetings and monthly forums, where members and the public are invited to ask questions and exchange information with individuals knowledgeable about the forum's topic. MRT targets high school and college youth to attend these forums.
Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments
Minority Round Table of Hampton Roads has held five major forums attracting an average of 75 people to discuss topics such as multicultural differences in public schools. Early MRT leadership was successful in getting Virginia to redefine its definition of "minority," to include Filipino Americans. This program is also working in conjunction with the local school board to devise ways to teach children about racial disparities and tensions.