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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 386-98
July 23, 1998

DEFENSE DEPARTMENT PARTICIPATES IN WHITE HOUSE ROUNDTABLE CONVERSATIONS ON RACE

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Equal Opportunity William E. Leftwich III announced today the Department's participation in "The One America Conversations," a series of roundtables that are part of the President's Initiative on Race to be held Washington this week.

These roundtable sessions, which take place today from 8:30 a.m. to noon, are similar to the national forums held by the President and allow a greater number of Americans to share their concerns and views on bridging the racial division in our nation as we begin the 21st Century. Today's sessions are open to news media coverage.

Last June President Clinton said, "Building one America is our most important mission ... money cannot buy it. Power cannot compel it. Technology cannot create it. It can only come from the human spirit."

The One America Conversations will be held at the Washington Hilton and Towers located at 1919 Connecticut Avenue, NW. The event is being co-hosted by William E. Leftwich III, deputy assistant secretary of Defense (Equal Opportunity), and the Federally Employed Women. The event is part of a national effort to move the country closer to a stronger, more just, and unified America, one that offers opportunity and fairness for all Americans. It is a chance for citizens in our country to be part of a great national conversation.

The President has asked all Americans to join him in a national effort to address the issues of race and share their ideas about how we can build One America together. This effort combines thoughtful study, constructive dialogue, and positive action to address the continuing challenge of how to live and work more productively as One America in the 21st century.

Following each One America Conversation, a report is sent to the White House and a monthly report will be written for the President and others in his administration. The purpose of the One America Conversations is to give citizens around the nation an opportunity to share their concerns and ideas with the White House.

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