DEWITT — A panel discussion presented by the Franciscan Peace Center will focus on racism in the United States.

The discussion will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at the DeWitt Opera House. The event, entitled “Encountering Racism,” is being presented in observation of the International Day of Peace and Campaign Nonviolence. The event is free and open to the public.

“We clearly have a long way to go in resolving racial issues in our country,” Lori Freudenberg, outreach director for the Franciscan Peace Center, said. “We have heard countless stories from people who are still experiencing prejudice because of racial bias. It is crucial that we listen to each other to gain an understanding of what our neighbors are facing and learn what we need to do to bring about change.”

The panel discussion will feature WHBF news reporter, Tahera Rahman, the first woman in hijab to work as an on-air reporter for American television. Tahera joined the WHBF Local 4 News team as a producer in May 2016.

Also on the panel will be Bianca and Ty Perkins. Bianca Perkins is the Director of Adult Education at Black Hawk College in Moline, Illinois. Her 20 years of professional experience in higher education includes teaching, faculty and program management, faculty training and development, grant writing, and conference and special project coordination.

Ty Perkins is the Associate Dean of Students at Scott Community College. Ty has worked in education for over 17 years, coving all sectors of higher education. His experience includes management of intercultural programming, inclusion and equity, community engagement, student services, academic affairs, student retention, and enrollment services.

The third panelist will be Savannah Mussington, partnership director for the Equal Opportunity Schools organization. Mussington had previously served as a college administrator; providing leadership for a TRIO program at Kishwaukee College and more recently Sauk Valley Community College.

The International Day of Peace (”Peace Day”) is observed around the world each year on Sept. 21.