March 29, 2018 •
A Landmark Conversation Has Begun in Akron
One of the great things about my job as Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility is I get the chance to be out in the community right where the action is. Yesterday I was a social justice facilitator at a historic community conversation called “It’s Time to Talk: Forums on Race.” The event was conceived and hosted by the Akron Urban League, Temple Israel of Akron, and the YWCA Greater Cleveland.
State and Federal Communications President and CEO Elizabeth Bartz and five of the company’s staff participated.
Three hundred and fifty people gathered at Akron’s Quaker Station to begin a dialog about racism, discrimination, and unconscious bias. I found the experience to be life-giving and life-changing.
We were provided five months of training under the leadership of Urban League President and CEO Dr. Sadie Winlock, Rabbi Joshua Brown, and Laurie Zuckerman of Zuckerman Consulting. Keynote speaker Dr. Jerry Sue Thornton set the tone and then the discussion at each table began.
There were feelings of pain, candor, hope and responsibility in the room: “We sit on the shoulders of leaders in our region who have had conversations, shared personal stories and continue to try and understand people and cultures different from their own. Today is one of several luncheons taking place across the country to discover and recover from core hurts and move our society into a cohesive and collaborative space.”
What did this event do for me? I have a new resolve to get out of my comfort zone, to do a whole lot more listening, and to make some intentional friendships with people who are different from me. I am so glad I had the chance to be a small part of it. Thank you, State and Federal Communications for making this possible!
Here is a great article on WKSU describing the event.
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