Concerned about where we going as a country and as a community? What can an ordinary citizen do to make a change? You can help by participating in a new kind of conversation – one that focuses on “all of us” and not “us” v. “them”. You can join in one of the Trib Talk Forums, or host your own conversation in your neighborhood, with your dinner group, in your faith community, or anywhere that your friends and neighbors gather. Begin 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 have a checklist which will help you plan dialogues within your neighborhood or organization and report back in on thoughts shared.
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.
“City asks for citizen input and then doesn’t do anything with it.”
“Vision, don’t forget VISION!!!”
“We don’t know our neighbors.”
“What would it be like if we could come together as one WHOLE community?”
Our past forums have made it clear that the citizens of Columbia are concerned about where we are going as a community. Our new community dialogue guide, titled Are We An Us?, shares the thoughts, ideas, and actions that have been captured to date. You can download the guide and join the conversation. Join in on this blog, on our next forum, or in your own backyard! Our Neighbor2Neighbor guide walks you through the process of hosting your own conversation with friends and neighbors and reporting back in.
Our next forum is an on-line chat forum, hosted by Columbia Daily Tribune managing editor Jim Robertson, Tuesday July 21 from 5 to 6 pm. To join, go to http://columbiatribune.com/ on Tuesday and follow the link.
We look forward to hearing from you.