Syracuse University

SU News

SU, National Grid present sixth annual Duck Race to End Racism June 7 at Inner Harbor

June 04, 2008

SU News Services
(315) 443-3784

SU News Services

InterFaith Works' Community-Wide Dialogue to End Racism (CWD) will host the sixth annual Duck Race to End Racism, on Saturday, June 7, from noon-4 p.m. at the Syracuse Inner Harbor. Syracuse University and National Grid are presenting sponsors of this year's event, which raises funds and awareness of CWD, a community program that has engaged thousands of people in frank, productive conversations about race and ethnicity.

The Duck Race, geared toward families and community members, is free and open to the public and will feature 13 entertainers, including the 100-piece Brigadier's Drum and Bugle Corps, the Spanish Action League's "La Joven Guardia del Teatro Latino," the Eastside Milestones Jazz Ensemble, the Johnston Irish Dancers, the Franklin Magnet School Afro-Cuban drummers and dancers, and singers from Corcoran and Henninger high schools. Also featured will be free Byrne Dairy ice cream, food vendors, cooperative games and face painting, and booths from dozens of nonprofits.

Judy Hamilton, assistant professor of sociology at SU and director of the Intergroup Dialogue Program, is co-chairing this year's duck race.

Among the day's highlights will be the racing of thousands of rubber ducks down Onondaga Creek. Ducks can be purchased at the Duck Race to End Racism on Saturday. Members of the University community and public who wish to sponsor a duck in the race may do so by contacting Marissa Willingham in the Office of Multicultural Affairs, 443-9676; for $5, duck sponsors are entered for the chance to win race prizes.

The Duck Race features three different "heats:"

  • The Power Paddler Race features nearly 50 full-sized ducks decorated by local companies.
  • The second race features full-size ducks from 58 different third-grade classrooms from around the city and county, decorated by the children and their teachers to represent their ethnicities, school spirit or creativity.
  • The final race is made up of multi-colored plastic bathtub-size ducks, and 10 winners will get prizes, among them a $1,000 shopping spree at Carousel Center; a night on the town gift basket; a family fun pack with tickets to the MOST, Open Hand Theater, the Zoo and other local attractions; and a Canandaigua bed and breakfast package.

CWD is the longest-running dialogue program on ending racism in the United States. Using the study circle, it builds relationships and creates a forum for action among people who may not otherwise have the opportunity to meet, work and learn from one another, forging racial and ethnic healing that leads to community action and understanding. InterFaith Works (formerly known as The InterReligious Council of Central New York) was founded in 1976 to bring together the wonderfully diverse array of faith traditions in the Central New York community, with the belief that engagement among these different faith groups would lead to understanding, friendships and a collaborative strength to address community issues.

SU offers many intergroup dialogue opportunities to students, faculty and staff, including the Office of Residence Life- and Office of Multicultural Affairs-sponsored Conversations About Race and Ethnicity Dialogues in residence halls; courses in dialogue; train-the-trainer trainings; participation in the national Multi-University Project on Intergroup Dialogue; and staff dialogue circles provided by the Office of Human Resources. For more information, visit

Full details on this year's Duck Race can be found at

Recent News