Race and Faith 2017: An evening of storytelling and performance

Race & Faith 2017: SEEING COLOR

Race & Faith 2017: SEEING COLOR

If you missed the event or would like to listen to it again, click here.

Program Order
Welcome: “Tell me the facts and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.” –Native American proverb
“Stories can conquer fear, you know. They can make the heart bigger.” –Ben Okri
Maria Ahmad, “Seeing Color”
Jasmine Bhatia, “All of Me”
Sami Karim Haddad, “I Wept”
Matthew Charles, “Runaway Slave”
Bobbie Kelsey-Grayson, “What You Talkin’ ‘Bout Willis?”
Mike Hughes, “Unraveling”
Miona Short, “A Humble Psalm”
Closing: “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story within you.” –Zora Neale Hurston
“We all have stories; by sharing them we begin to tear down walls of fear and create new narratives of hope together. May the story of tonight be that people of all different backgrounds came into this space as strangers, but left recognizing they were family that belonged to one another.” –Erica Liu

Facebook Live recording
Cap Times article, “Community Gathers at UW Campus Event to Hear Stories of Race and Faith”
Madison 365 article, “Seeing Color: Second Annual Race and Faith Event Addresses Anxieties”

Supporting Events

An additional purpose of these Race & Faith events is to maintain the energy and momentum among University Religious Workers, campus leaders, etc. in regards to collaborating together to raise a faith response to the issues of racism on our campus, in our Madison community, and our nation. See the below list of supporting events:

Date of Event:

Spring Semester 2017: Feb.

Thursday, February 9th _____________

Saturday, February 25th ______________

March 3rd & 4th                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Wednesday, March 8th

Saturday, March 18th – Friday, March 24th

April 19 from 7-8:30pm, with a simple supper beforehand at 6:30pm

May 26-29, 2017

Event Title:

Civil Rights Learning Fellowship

Social Justice Speaker Series: Imam Daayiee Abdullah

Kingdom Justice Summit kingdomjusticesummit.org


Documentary and Dinner: 13th from Netflix 

Milwaukee Urban Program: A spring break trip around systemic injustice

Stories of Forgiveness & Reconciliation: A Storytelling Workshop w/ Rita Mae Reese 

Taize: Pilgrimage of Trust to St. Louis, MO


Hillel of the University of Wisconsin-Madison

UW-Multicultural Student Center

Upper House & Door Creek Church

Wisconsin Council of Churches                                                                                                                                                        

Pres House, His House, St. Francis House Episcopal Student Center

InterVarsity Undergrad @ UW-Madison

St. Francis House Episcopal Student Center

Pres House, His House, St. Francis House Episcopal Student Center


Race and Faith: Seeing Color 2017


  • Bobbie Kelsey-Grayson, former UW-Madison Women’s Basketball Coach
    • Kelsey-Grayson earned a Bachelors degree in Communication (Media Studies concentration) from Stanford University and a Master’s degree from Duquesne University’s School of Sports Leadership and Professional Advancement. Kelsey-Grayson enjoys spending time with her family as well as shooting hoops, hitting the golf course and watching ESPN at any given time of the day.
  • Maria Ahmad, Assistant Director at the Multicultural Student Center
    • Maria Ahmad grew up in a small town in Ohio and has lived in various states across the Midwest. Her parents immigrated to the US in the 80’s and are Muslim, and raised Maria to be Muslim as well. She only started feeling proud of being Muslim once she was in college and became the MSA president after she had time to reflect on what it means to be Muslim, American, and a woman of color.
  • Mike Hughes, Blackhawk Church College Pastor
    • Mike grew up in Wisconsin, and has lived in Madison since 2006. He attended UW-Madison, where he studied Communication Arts and Religious Studies. He lives on the near west side with his wife Sarah, a Dane County public health nurse, who is in the process of completing her DNP. He has served as Blackhawk Church’s Pastor of College Age Ministry since 2012.
  • Sami Karim Haddad, Graduate Student in Economics at UW-Madison
    • After his parents fled conflict in Colombia and Lebanon to attend school in the US in the early 80’s, Sami was born in Iowa City, Iowa and raised in Bloomington, Indiana (Go Hoosiers!). He was raised in a Catholic and Presbyterian home and attended Indiana University where he graduated with degrees in Mathematics and Economics. He’s currently a 2nd year economics graduate student at UW-Madison and aspires to change lives by making economic opportunities accessible, through policy, to marginalized Americans.
  • Jasmine Bhatia, Undergraduate Student at UW-Madison
    • Jasmine grew up in Brookfield, WI. She is a Senior at UW-Madison studying Political Science, Afro-American Studies and African Studies. She is still exploring her various identities which include her faith, race, gender and sexuality and their intersections.


  • Matthew Charles, YWAM-Madison
  • A performance from an artist of First Wave, a program of the Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives.
    • Miona Short, is a senior at UW studying astrophysics and Spanish with a poetry emphasis. The Chicago native is a follower of Christ and is constantly humbled by the beauty of the Word.


The following 27 campus organizations are sponsors of this event. This is an unprecedented collection of campus and religious organizations all united in a commitment to addressing issues of racial justice at UW-Madison and in the larger Madison community:

1. Asian American InterVarsity
2. Badger Cru
3. Baha’i Campus Association
4. Blackhawk CAM
5. Delight Ministries
6. Fellowship of Christian Athletes
7. Force for Freedom
8. Genesis Campus Ministries
9. Geneva Campus Church
10. Harvest Church of Madison
11. Hillel
12. His House Christian Fellowship
13. InterVarsity Graduate Fellowship
14. InterVarsity Undergrad
15. Lutheran Campus Center
16. Muslim Student Association, UW Madison
17. Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives (First Wave)
18. Pathways to Educational Achievement
19. Pres House
20. St. Francis House Episcopal Student Center
21. St. Paul University Catholic Center
22. The Crossing
23. The Navigators
24. Upper House
25. UW Division of Student Life
26. UW Multicultural Student Center
27. YWAM Madison

Race and Faith: Talking About Racism at UW-Madison

Last year 18 organizations came together to host the first annual “Race and Faith” event at UW Madison. On February 9, 2016, over 250 students, faculty, staff, and community members gathered to listen to five panel members share their thoughts on race and faith issues on the campus. After the panel, attendees were invited to stay for dinner and conversation on the topic.  It was an amazing evening and well received; as one participant said, “I learned how faith both compels us to seek racial justice and gives us the courage/tools to seek it.” This event garnered more partnership and collaboration within UW Madison’s faith community than many of us have seen in 15+ years.


  1. Raise awareness that racism is a problem on our campus.
  2. Respond as people of faith to that problem because it is integral to our understanding of what it means to be faithful to God.
  3. Building relationships among campus ministry leaders so that this is not a one-time effort, but a long, sustained effort at addressing this issue.
  4. Commitment to personally ask and trust other campus leaders in our networks to join us.

If you missed the event or you would like to hear the discussion again, please click here.