City program to spark front porch discussions

Nov. 14, 2012 @ 11:44 AM

A New York Times best seller that has sparked controversy internationally is the focus of local discussion.

The High Point Human Relations Commission and the YWCA of High Point are back on the porch for the 2012-13 Front Porch Conversations series.

The series will begin Thursday with “Fifty Shades of Grey: A Testament to Institutional Sexism or a Modern Commentary on Equality between the Sexes.” Thursday’s session is at 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. at the YWCA, 112 Gatewood Ave. It is free and open to the public.

“The phenomenal success of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ sparked a lively discussion among a local group of women, as well as women internationally,” said Al Heggins, High Point human relations director. “The comments I’ve heard from local women and the remarks shared in social media outlets have ranged from ‘best read ever’ to ‘a guide for abusive relationships.’ Because we live under a national climate which is still debating the rights and the equality of women, we felt this topic went straight to the core of our missions for the city of High Point Human Relations (Commission) and the High Point YWCA.”

Heggins will be serving as the moderator and panelists will be Jenn Brandt, director of Women’s & Gender Studies at High Point University, and Monica Walker, Guilford County Schools diversity officer and international trainer on race equity.

The purpose of the program, Heggins said, is to help keep the public informed about social justice issues and to build multicultural and diversity literacy.

“This program offers an opportunity for citizens to participate in a discussion they may not have an opportunity to participate in otherwise. The atmosphere is relaxed, informal, and welcoming; very much like the front porches, indicative of easy Southern culture.”

This season’s series has a dual theme of race amity and women’s equality.