Giving Tuesday - Community Conversations

In the midst of this very challenging year we want to thank you for your generosity that has made it possible for us to be a means of grace to our community!

Giving Tuesday this year is on December 1st, and we want to invite your partnership in particular for the good work we are doing with Community Conversations.

Since the summer of 2018 the Community Conversations has been a safe setting for people gather to recognize, understand, appreciate and utilize differences in race, age, gender, class and religion just to name a few.

Using a model developed by VISIONS, Inc., a nationally recognized diversity, equity and inclusion consulting group, the Community Conversations provides tested resources for conflict resolution through an equity lens.

Because of generosity from people like you, we are able to offer these conversations free of charge AND they are more accessible than ever since we are using a virtual meeting space now - allowing people to participate from all over the country.

We tell people when they come: “This is a space where we meet to provide education, support and leader development for people who want to be multicultural change agents in their own setting.”

Your support this giving Tuesday will help us expand the vital leader development part of our work in particular.  Our goal is to raise $20,000 to provide a 4-day training for 18 key leaders in our community at a cost of $1,100 per participant.

As we train new leaders to facilitate these conversations, the network of education and support grows exponentially! 

  • After providing this 4-day training for key community leaders in 2019 the impact of the conversations grew from 50 participants on our mailing list to 140 participants today.  
  • That same training was noted by our city leaders for its positive influence upon their decisions to address sewer infrastructure inequities in a predominately African American neighborhood as well as navigating the removal of Confederate monuments from public space to private land. 

We believe investing in this valuable training for key leaders and influencers in our community will lead to greater peace with justice.

Providing this training support for our police departments, school & health care systems, policy makers and others will help them to build diverse collaborative decision making teams that benefit everyone in our community!

Thank you for your generous partnership to make this possible through your contribution this Giving Tuesday!

Click Here to Make Your Contribution

Hear from Community Conversation Participants

Click Here to Watch Video

Listen to several participants in the Community Conversation hosted by Grace United Methodist Church. The Conversation meets each Tuesday at 12:00 pm by Zoom for education, support and leader development for people who want to be multicultural change agents in their own setting.

This quote from Dr. Albert Rabboteau captures the hope for hosting these community conversations in the church.  

What can we do to be instruments of peace and agents of reconciliation?

"The issue of how do we desegregate on a micro level, is I think as important an issue and maybe even more important than the larger statements and apologies by [church] denominations. That is fine. But it doesn’t necessarily affect the ongoing racial divide unless people are meeting in schools, in homes, in work places face-to-face and having contact in which their stories can be shared. What we are as a nation is a collection of disparate stories, an ever exfoliating set of separate stories and what we need to bind us together is to be able to hear the stories of others in face-to-face encounter. And that can be sponsored by churches; churches would be a natural place to sponsor that kind of face-to face contact. But it’s amazing when I ask the question of how many of you really meet regularly and experience the life stories of people who come from a different ethnicity than their own. And it is rarer than one might think."

What we've noticed in the Community Conversations is that our lives change when we sit with one another and converse. When we share our own stories and listen to another. Real, honest, vulnerable conversation leads to empathy. It fosters our understanding and sharpens our convictions. It breaks down barriers and builds surprising new relationships. Conversation leads to change - to peace with justice.