Former TV reporter to lecture on `oneness of humankind'

Former TV reporter to lecture on `oneness of humankind'

By Jonathan Barnes
NORTH HILLS NEWS RECORD

As a television reporter, Nathan Rutstein interviewed Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, Barry Goldwater and other players in the battle over civil rights during the 1960s.

The experiences helped solidify his feelings about racism, he said.

"I always had a deep desire to see humanity come together," Rutstein said. "Even as a child, I felt that we were all one family. There is only one color, with many different shades."

Rutstein, 69, a prominent anti-racism author who has written 15 books, will lecture on "Healing Racism in America" as part of La Roche College's Black History Month celebrations. He will speak at 7 p.m. Friday in the Zappala College Center Square on the East Campus.

For 15 years, Rutstein worked as a reporter and editor for NBC News and ABC News. He also was a faculty member at the University of Massachusetts School of Education and the Communications Department at Springfield Technical Community College. He has lectured at more than 50 colleges across the country.

His most recent book, "Coming of Age in the Millennium: Embracing the Oneness of Humankind," describes the essence of racism and how it comes into being. "It explains how this fractured view of humanity came about," Rutstein said.

Two of his books, "Healing Racism in America" and "Healing Racism: Education's Role," were cited as outstanding books on human rights by the Gustavus Meyers Center for the Study of Human Rights in North America. The center is at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark., and is supported by the Urban League, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the National Conference of Christians and Jews and other groups.

Rutstein, of Amherst, Mass., also is a founder of the Institutes for the Healing of Racism, in Albion, Mich. The institute "helps participants to engage in transformation," he said. "As you begin to heal, the positive effect is multiplied in your community, and eventually racism won't exist."

He said he would be meeting with faculty and staff members at La Roche before his lecture to discuss starting an institute for the healing of racism at the college.

The author/lecturer is a member of the Bahai faith, which has 6 million adherents worldwide and espouses unity of religion, unity of mankind, the cooperation between science and religion and other unifying tenets.

Rutstein said one approach to ending racism would be for all people to understand the definition of what it is to be a human being.

"We need to understand what the function of a soul is," he said. "(A person) is a soul with a body, not a body which has a soul. These are things that many people are not aware of."

Rutstein will speak at La Roche for an hour, and his latest book will be available at the event. He was chosen by the college out of a pool of many possible speakers, Tina Fedko, La Roche spokeswoman, said.

"We did a lot of research before we picked him, and he was our first choice," Fedko said. "We were impressed by his message of the oneness of humankind. Also, he centers his talk on the human race entering the new millennium, which we thought was really pertinent, fresh information."


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