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Photo Essay: A Conversation on Structural Racism and Implicit Bias

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Kinfay Moroti / Hopeful Images
Felicia Watts shares personal stories of facing discrimination during a conversation on structural racism and implicit bias on Saturday at the Collaboratory in Fort Myers. The event was presented by the FutureMakers Coalition and explored attitudes and stereotypes that shape our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner.

A day-long conversation on structural racism and implicit bias happened on Saturday, June 20 at the Southwest Florida Community Foundation's Collaboratory in downtown Fort Myers.

Led by Tessa LeSage and Dr. Nicole King-Smith of the FutureMakers Coalition, the group explored attitudes and stereotypes that shape our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner.

The structural racism and implicit bias conversations were launched by FutureMakers in September 2019, and the first day-long event was held in February. The racial tension expressed in the wake of the killing of George Floyd informed Saturday's conversation. Photos and captions by Kinfay Moroti.

The next conversation is July 17, 2020. Click HERE to register.

Note: The Collaboratory followed CDC guidelines in hosting the event.

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Kinfay Moroti/Hopeful Images
Tessa LeSage, director of the FutureMakers Coalition, comforts Karen Putman-Watson, during a conversation on structural racism and implicit bias on Saturday at the Collaboratory in Fort Myers. Watson's story of enduring and overcoming years of racism moved many at the event, which was presented by the FutureMakers Coalition and explored attitudes and stereotypes that shape our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. Watson is the executive director at Our Mother's Home of Southwest Florida.
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Kinfay Moroti / Hopeful Images
Tessa LeSage, director of the FutureMakers Coalition, leads a moment of silence before a conversation on structural racism and implicit bias on Saturday at the Collaboratory in Fort Myers. The event was presented by the FutureMakers Coalition and explored attitudes and stereotypes that shape our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner.
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Kinfay Moroti / Hopeful Images
Christine Kobie shares her experiences teaching in public schools during a conversation on structural racism and implicit bias on Saturday at the Collaboratory in Fort Myers. The event was presented by the FutureMakers Coalition and explored attitudes and stereotypes that shape our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner.
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Kinfay Moroti / Hopeful Images
Michele Hylton-Terry, executive director of the Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency, offers her insight on race relations during a conversation on structural racism and implicit bias on Saturday at the Collaboratory in Fort Myers. The event was presented by the FutureMakers Coalition and explored attitudes and stereotypes that shape our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner.
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Kinfay Moroti / Hopeful Images
Amy Guzman, of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, takes part in a conversation on structural racism and implicit bias on Saturday at the Collaboratory in Fort Myers. The event was presented by the FutureMakers Coalition and explored attitudes and stereotypes that shape our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner.
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Kinfay Moroti / Hopeful Images
Nick Montoya, owner of Shiva Yoga Shala, participates in a conversation on structural racism and implicit bias on Saturday at the Collaboratory in Fort Myers. The event was presented by the FutureMakers Coalition and explored attitudes and stereotypes that shape our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner.
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Kinfay Moroti / Hopeful Images
Dr. Nicole King-Smith, of NK Enterprise Consulting, LLC, guides a conversation on structural racism and implicit bias on Saturday at the Collaboratory in Fort Myers. The event was presented by the FutureMakers Coalition and explored attitudes and stereotypes that shape our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner.
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Kinfay Moroti / Hopeful Images
Melody Bales participates in a conversation on structural racism and implicit bias on Saturday at the Collaboratory in Fort Myers. The event was presented by the FutureMakers Coalition and explored attitudes and stereotypes that shape our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner.
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Kinfay Moroti / Hopeful Images
Andre Jackson shares the challenges of unlearning negative stereotypes during a conversation on structural racism and implicit bias on Saturday at the Collaboratory in Fort Myers. The event was presented by the FutureMakers Coalition and explored attitudes and stereotypes that shape our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner.
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Kinfay Moroti / Hopeful Images
Pat Dobbins emphasizes the need for tolerance during a conversation on structural racism and implicit bias on Saturday at the Collaboratory in Fort Myers. The event was presented by the FutureMakers Coalition and explored attitudes and stereotypes that shape our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner.
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Kinfay Moroti / Hopeful Images
Tessa LeSage, director of the FutureMakers Coalition, guides a conversation on structural racism and implicit bias on Saturday at the Collaboratory in Fort Myers. The event was presented by the FutureMakers Coalition and explored attitudes and stereotypes that shape our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner.
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Kinfay Moroti / Hopeful Images
Colleen DePasquale, president and CEO of the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce, takes part in a conversation on structural racism and implicit bias on Saturday at the Collaboratory in Fort Myers. The event was presented by the FutureMakers Coalition and explored attitudes and stereotypes that shape our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner.
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Kinfay Moroti / Hopeful Images
Felicia Watts shares personal stories of facing discrimination during a conversation on structural racism and implicit bias on Saturday at the Collaboratory in Fort Myers. The event was presented by the FutureMakers Coalition and explored attitudes and stereotypes that shape our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner.
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Kinfay Moroti / Hopeful Images
Tessa LeSage, director of the FutureMakers Coalition, guides a conversation on structural racism and implicit bias on Saturday at the Collaboratory in Fort Myers. The event was presented by the FutureMakers Coalition and explored attitudes and stereotypes that shape our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner.
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Kinfay Moroti / Hopeful Images
Nick Montoya, owner of Shiva Yoga Shala, listens intently to a story of privilege during a conversation on structural racism and implicit bias on Saturday at the Collaboratory in Fort Myers. The event was presented by the FutureMakers Coalition and explored attitudes and stereotypes that shape our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner.
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Kinfay Moroti / Hopeful Images
Karen Putman-Watson, executive director at Our Mother's Home of Southwest Florida, shares accounts of enduring and overcoming years of racism during a conversation on structural racism and implicit bias on Saturday at the Collaboratory in Fort Myers. Watson's story moved many at the event, which was presented by the FutureMakers Coalition and explored attitudes and stereotypes that shape our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner.
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Kinfay Moroti / Hopeful Images
Deborah Hopkins takes part in a conversation on structural racism and implicit bias on Saturday at the Collaboratory in Fort Myers. The event was presented by the FutureMakers Coalition and explored attitudes and stereotypes that shape our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner.