Our forum participants asked the question “are we an us?” long before the violence of the last two weeks left leaders nationwide calling for dialogue. Efforts by local leaders to create more dialogue included a news conference where the issue of racial profiling was discussed, and an open mic event sponsored by MU’s Black Studies department.
To make a difference, dialogue needs to be sustained. It’s up to each of us to reach out, to listen, to share our own thoughts, to listen again, and to stay engaged.
Wondering where you might start? You can start by downloading the community dialogue guide “Are We An Us?“, or one of the related mini-guides, “Addressing Inequities“, “Citizen Centered Planning“, or “Building Bridges“. We also have a checklist which will help you plan dialogues within your neighborhood or organization and report back in on thoughts shared.
The Tribune publication “Sharp End”, published in 2015, can also serve as a starting point for discussions about race in Columbia, as can the documentary “Battle: Change From Within“. The “Charleston Syllabus,” which was created in response to the June 2015 murders at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina provides many additional resources.
Do you have additional resources to share? Add your suggestions in the comment section below.
When our past experiences are different, are filters on the present are different as well. Consider http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/perspectives/writer-highlights-route-safe-havens-for-black-travelers/article_9a2e295b-8708-54db-892b-f280c9f9829b.html
Effective dialogue requires being willing to accept that we have different experiences. http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/local/rally-speakers-offended-by-columbia-police-chief-ken-burton-s/article_67ca9860-12ec-5b8d-9e91-4cdf5b4a68dc.html
Here’s an example of citizens organizing to accomplish something government has opted to not do. Definitely an opportunity to build bridges among neighborhoods.
Pingback: Driving While Black: Addressing Inequities | One Community One Columbia