Erie Downtown Partnership and Opened Eyes LLC Team Up for Lecture Series Addressing Racism

David Tamulonis

Monday Jun 7th, 2021

The Erie Downtown Partnership will be hosting a lecture series with Opened Eyes, LLC in Perry Square on Thursday, June 17th, starting at 7:00 PM. The Listen to Your Neighbors Lecture Series will feature talks from two local leaders of color each month discussing their personal experiences with racism and how systemic racism is affecting the Erie region. An interactive dialogue will follow each speaker in which participants can ask questions and share their own experiences as well. The event is free to attend in Perry Square and will also be live streamed to the Erie Downtown Partnership’s Facebook and YouTube pages. The speakers featured at June’s event will be Brandon Wylie and Marcus Atkinson.

Brandon Wiley earned his master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and is a Licensed Professional Counselor. He is an Alumni of Gannon University. Brandon Founded OpenedEyes in 2014 because of personal experiences with racial discrimination and identity crisis due to his biracial background. Brandon felt that the world needed a program to encourage and increase dialogue around social justice related issues. Brandon is passionate in the areas of self-development, diversity & inclusion, and cultural appropriation. Brandon was featured in the Erie Reader’s 40 under 40 class in 2016 as one of the up-and-coming entrepreneurs in the Erie area.

Marcus S. Atkinson is currently Principal at M. Atkinson & Associates Consulting (In Association with Infinity Resources), and Founder/CEO of The Publix Voice Media LLC. A native of Erie and a graduate of Strong Vincent, Mr. Atkinson spent over a decade in Atlanta, GA, where he earned a degree in Business from Clayton State University. There he immersed himself in political and community organization, learning the necessity of bridging disparaging gaps that exist in communities between local government, school districts and businesses. Since returning to Erie in 2005, he has followed a similar path in giving back to the Erie community in various capacities to include: community organizing, nonprofit leadership and board service.

OpenedEyes is a 501(c)(3) organization designed to help others create a positive identity founded on holistic diversity principles. Our program and curriculum emphasizes an educational model — designed for children, adolescents and adults — encompassing a multiracial/multicultural phenomenon by being asked the question, "What are you?" OpenedEyes conducts trainings, workshops and day retreats for schools, universities and businesses.

Contact: David Tamulonis, 330.501.0693,