Change Agents 6/3/21: Reducing Racism in Schools and Communities

Producer/Host: Steve Wessler

Reducing Racism in Schools and Communities: Two women, one a person of color-Puerto Rican-Latina and the other white, discuss the difficulties and successes of working to reduce racism

-Has racial bias changed in our guests life times
-What is difficult in trying to reduce racial bias in schools and communities
-What does progress in reducing racial bias look like


Eva Vega is an anti-bias, anti-racist educator and diversity, equity and inclusion specialist and administrator with 20 years of professional experience creating change in Pre-K through university education spaces, nonprofit organizations and the corporate world. Eva creates interactive experiential educational tools, training resources, and leads group education through facilitated dialogue, workshops and performance driven keynotes. Melding wellness with equity, emotional intelligence with practical skills building, Eva aspires to better prepare participants to take on the everyday work of disrupting structurally oppressive patterns that limit our highest ideals for diversity, equity inclusion by developing a personal and professional practice. Eva received her Master’s Degree in Sociology from the New School for Social Research and is a Certified Personal Coach with ICF accredited, Leadership That Works. Eva identifies as a white-presenting Afro-Indigenous Latina and uses she/her/hers pronouns. For more information about her work log onto EvaVegaWorld or follow her on her social media

Beth Yohe is an accomplished facilitator, consultant and curriculum writer with over 20 years of experience, writing and delivering training programs on a variety of topics related to addressing bias, transforming conflict and creating dialogue. Prior to joining The Conflict Center as Executive Director, she served in a number of roles at a national civil rights organization, including as the Regional Director of Development and as the Director of Training for the National Office, overseeing its national anti-bias education training. She is involved nationally on issues related to conflict transformation, social justice, bullying prevention and social emotional learning, including serving on the Advisory Board for The Ad Council’s Love has No Labels campaign, the board of the International Bullying Prevention Association and a facilitator for the Social Justice Training Institute. She received her Masters of Science from Colorado State University and her Bachelors of Arts from Texas A&M University. She loves spending family time whether at home, at one of her daughters’ activities or out enjoying the beauty of Colorado.

About the host:
Steve Wessler will soon will be starting his 28th year of working on human right issues. He founded the Civil Rights Unit in the Maine Attorney’s Office in 1992 and led the Unit for 7 years. In 1999 he left the formal practice of law and founded the Center for the Prevention of Hate. The Center worked in Maine and across the USA. He and his colleagues worked to reduce bias and harassment in schools, in communities, in health care organization through workshops and conflict resolution. The Center closed in 2011 and Steve began a consulting on human rights issues. For the next 5 years much of his work was in Europe, developing and implementing training curricular for police, working in communities to reduce the risk of hate crimes, conflict resolution between police and youth. He has worked in over 20 countries. In late 2016 he began to work more in Maine, with a focus on reducing anti-immigrant bias. He continues to work in schools to reduce bias and harassment. Wessler teaches courses on human rights issues at the College of the Atlantic, the University of Maine at Augusta and at the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University in northern Virginia.