Another strategy identified in past forums for restoring a sense of community was for different groups to get together with those they don’t regularly talk or work with in order to get to know each other. And participants emphasized the importance of listening.
These last two weeks provided several opportunities for people to come together, whether to talk about common interests, such as the dialogue held by the Cradle to Career Alliance on January 11 as part of their “Raising of America” video series; to celebrate our diverse community as many did at the 2016 Columbia Values Diversity celebration; or simply to come together in fellowship and support as others did at the breakfast buffet held at St. Luke United Methodist Church.
Here are some quotes from the week, all aligned with the strategy of building bridges:
“We are one. There’s no color -we’re all just one. And when we can decide that we’re one, then Columbia can unite together.” – Rev. James Gray, Second Missionary Baptist Church, quoted in the Columbia Missourian Jan. 19, 2016
“There are people that need a meal, and we have a meal for them.” – Annabelle Simmons, St. Luke United Methodist Church, quoted in the Columbia Daily Tribune Jan. 18, 2016
“We stop exploring, we stop challenging ourselves to learn.” – Brenda Jackson, Stephens College Student Government Association President, quoted in the Columbia Daily Tribune, Jan. 19, 2016
“I’m pleased we honor diversity, and eventually we will get to a more accepting community – we just have to keep moving forward in recognizing and accepting each other’s differences.” Barbra Horrell, Columbia Values Diversity 2016 Individual Honoree, quoted in the Columbia Daily Tribune, Jan. 14, 2016