A Bridge Begun

The healing power of music was evident on Saturday night as the Columbia Chorale, Columbia Youth Choirs and Community Gospel Choir combined for a community concert promoting unity at the Missouri United Methodist Church.  The choir was diverse, the audience was diverse and the music was enjoyed by all who packed the pews, both on the main floor and the balcony. The program notes for “Where Do We Go From Here”, composed by the Community Gospel Choir conductor Lamont Walker and featuring the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., included this statement:

Right now, the Columbia Community is in need of unity to usher in healing to the broken, hurting, wounded, and oppressed. Sincere, authentic, and unconditional love for mankind will break down all of the walls and barriers that divide us.  It is that love that will bind hate, pierce color lines, and demand justice for all.”

Judging from the attendance, there are many in Columbia looking to bridge that which divides us.

Are We An Us?

The Trib Talks forums to date have made it clear that the citizens of Columbia are concerned about where we are going as a community.  The rapid growth over the last 10 years has resulted in tensions and stressed existing divides of place and race, town and gown, “old” and “new” Columbia.  How can we as citizens heal the divides?  Key approaches discussed during the forums were to use more “citizen centered” planning,  address existing inequities, and build bridges between groups. We will consider each of these further on this blog, and on our February 11 forum.  Add your thoughts below, or take our survey.