Great turnout at Second Community Forum on Race Relations!
SCI, in collaboration with the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, hosted the Second Community Forum on Race Relations which took place on Thursday, February 16 from 7-9pm. The event was a great success and there was an amazing turnout from the Woburn community and beyond!
Please look out for the Third Community Forum on Race Relations which will be held on Thursday, April 6 from 7-9pm at the Woburn Memorial High School. This forum will focus on the action steps that we as individuals, as well as the Woburn community as a whole, can take to address issues of race relations previously discussed.
The event began with an introduction by SCI President, David Crowley, as well as a short video clip shown by Ron Walker of St. John's Baptist Church - the video clip was a trailer from a documentary called, "I'm Not Racist....Or Am I?" which brings together a group of twelve teenagers from different backgrounds to discuss race and privilege in a series of workshops and conversations. Click here to learn more about the film.
Following Ron's presentation of the video, Rev. Dr. Yoo-Yun Cho-Chang and Charles Pfeifer of the United Methodist Church presented instructions about the next part of the event, which would consist of small group discussions. The larger group broke up into breakout groups of 6-7 people each and engaged in the circle process - this process emphasizes respect and inclusivity, in which everyone's voice is able to be heard. By including a facilitator who asked the questions to the participants and ensuring that the rules of conversation were followed (ex. only talk when you are holding the talking stick, be honest, keep personal stories confidential), this mode of conversation allowed participants to share their unique stories and viewpoints, as well as be heard by everyone.
The forum ended with participants providing their feedback on the forum and possible action steps that the Woburn community as a whole can take to address race relations. Ron Walker then led the group in a reading of "Willing to be disturbed," an essay by Margaret J. Wheatley. Click here to read the essay.
This forum is part of a series of events that SCI is facilitating with a number of other community organizations, under the name of #WoburnUnites. This is a homegrown effort dedicated to making Woburn a welcoming place for ALL by creating programming that fosters community and understanding.