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Racial Understanding: A Way Forward through Dialogue

A contemplative dialogue

Given the events of recent months, many people of good will are ready to earnestly engage others in a balanced and diverse dialogue where no one feels a sense of othering or feels expected to represent their racial group. According to Dan Frachey, program director at the Chiara Center, dialogue is an opportunity for people to find shared encounters and also bring willing participants into a process that they will help shape. Invited speakers include Kathryn Harris, Shannon DeWith McCormick and Susan Phillips, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Springfield. After the opening addresses, participants will break into small groups with facilitators. The groups will engage in a contemplative dialogue process that others have used when engaging in difficult conversations. The process allows one person to share without interruption and places a high value on extending the gift of listening. The event will be held each Monday through Aug. 10. Space is limited to 100 participants and prior registration is required.

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