The Wellesley Civil Discourse Initiative recently held two dialogues on racial identity and racism in Wellesley. Due to the strong interest from the community, the organizers have added an additional in-person session on Thur., June 1, 7pm-9pm. The June 1 session will be held in person; confirmation and location will be emailed upon registration.
Dialogue participants will meet in small groups for the two-hour dialogue. To participate, please sign up by Tuesday, May 23. Space is limited.
The Wellesley Civil Discourse Initiative was launched in March 2021 by a group of volunteers, to help the community engage in open and inclusive conversations that strengthen a sense of connection and builds understanding. Since that time, the group has held a number of reflective structured dialogues including discussions on COVID-19, values, and education.
Over the past two years, the group has heard from residents, Town employees, and visitors who have experienced racism in Wellesley or have heard about racist incidents in town from others, and who requested a structured dialogue on race.
Goals of this dialogue
- To reflect on the emergence of each individual’s racial self-identification
- To discuss whether residents and/or visitors have experienced or heard of racist incidents in Wellesley
- To share how racial self-identity may have shaped reactions to racist incidents in Wellesley
- To consider how participants may be inspired to work for interracial acceptance and respectful interactions among all people who live or work in Wellesley, and those who visit our town
- To model for the Town’s children and each other the power and possibility of civil discourse on even the most complex, challenging issues.
The dialogue groups will be composed of five to seven members of the Wellesley community. Civil Discourse Initiative volunteers hope to create opportunities for people to speak candidly about their experiences and to listen open-heartedly to others.