Diversity expert Yavilah McCoy to speak on “Faith, Race, Power, and Privilege,” September 15, 2016

How can faith communities support the awareness needed to develop meaningful relationships toward equity and justice around issues of race and racism? What tools can faith communities utilize in engaging political narratives across cultural differences? How can the experiences within faith communities prepare us to model racial equity in broader environments?  

Diversity expert Yavilah McCoy will explore these questions and discuss best practices for navigating multi-faith, multiracial and multicultural differences in 2016. McCoy’s talk, "Faith, Race, Power, and Privilege: Developing and Maintaining Multiracial, Multicultural & Multi-faith alliances toward Equity and Justice on College Campuses,” will be held in the Villard Room of Main Building on Thursday, September 15, 5:30pm. This event is free and open to the public.

McCoy is the CEO of the international diversity consulting group, VISIONS Inc. She is an educator, activist, spiritual teacher and performer who has worked extensively within multi-faith communities to increase racial justice and expand equity and inclusion. She was named one of “16 Faith Leaders to Watch in 2016” by the Center for American Progress in Washington.  A career Jewish communal professional, she has directed the launch of multiple Jewish inclusion projects and is the founding director of Ayecha, one of the first nonprofit Jewish organizations to provide education and advocacy for Jews of color in the United States.  Raised in the Flatbush and Crown Heights areas of Brooklyn, New York, McCoy was educated at Yeshiva University and went on to study at Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Zaidner Institute for Women.

In celebration of the musical traditions passed down to her from three generations of her African-American Jewish family, McCoy is also the writer, producer and performer for the Jewish Gospel theatrical production of “The Colors of Water.”  In 2014 she established Dimensions Educational Consulting, through which she continues to support organizations in expanding their relationships across race, religion, identity and culture.

Sponsored by the Vassar Jewish Union, Multiracial and Biracial Students Association, ALANA Center, Office of Religious & Spiritual Life, Program in Jewish Studies, Department of Religion, and the Dialogue and Engagement Across Differences Fund.

Vassar College strives to make its events, performances, and facilities accessible to all. Individuals with disabilities requiring special accommodations must contact the Office of Campus Activities at least 48 hours in advance of an event, Mondays-Fridays, at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space/and or assistance may not be available. For detailed information about accessibility to specific campus facilities, search for “campus accessibility information” on the Vassar homepage (

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Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Thursday, September 1, 2016