Open DOORS Project

Asia Rainey
Lead Organizer


The Open D.O.O.R.S. Project is supported by grant funding from the Mississippi Humanities Council through the Racial Equity program. 


The Mississippi Humanities Council (MHC) is an independent, nonprofit organization supported primarily by the National Endowment for the Humanities and also by grants and donations from private foundations, corporations, and individuals. The MHC in turn supports a wide range of public humanities programs throughout the state.

Our Mission:

To welcome the people of Tupelo, MS to an authentic and diverse community conversation about race and racism.

 Each session will be led by a pair of Guest Speakers (humanities scholars and community leaders) who will introduce each topic through their personal and professional experiences. The time-majority of each session, however, is designed to present an opportunity to for people of all walks of life to come together and discuss how race and racism affects our society, our communities, and ourselves. This event is FREE and open to the public.

Dialogue Session Schedule:

JANUARY 30th, 2017 – Monday
History & Common Language in Discussing Race & Racism
Guest Speakers: Asia Rainey & Leesha Faulkner
What is race and racism? What are our perceptions and misconceptions?

FEBRUARY 27th, 2017 – Monday
Understanding Personal Bias
Guest Speakers: Lt. Michael Russell & Dr. Jandel Crutchfield
How do we recognize racial bias and prejudice?  What is its impact?

MARCH 27th, 2017 – Monday
Cause & Effect: The System of Racism
Guest Speakers: Councilwoman Nettie Davis & Jeff Stayton
How does systemic racism impact our lives, from the individual level to the larger social dynamic?

APRIL 24th, 2017 – Monday
Racial Internalization
Guest Speakers: Meredith Tollison & Toni Hill
What impact do the systems and the legacy of race and racism have on the way we think, how we see ourselves, and how we act and react?

MAY 22nd, 2017 – Monday
Generational Racial Concepts
Guest Speakers: Brayden Russell, Zabrina Walker
What do our youth have to say about race and racism? What can we learn from them?

JUNE 26th, 2017 – Monday
Guest Speakers: Doyce Deas & Judge Willie Allen
How can communities create action plans to improve the way we approach race and racism?

For More Info:

Asia Rainey
Open D.O.O.R.S Project Director

Melanie Deas
Link Centre Executive Director