A Night of Renewal: Keeping the Conversation Going

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One of the most frequent requests LTG partners Willie Tolliver and Steve Burghardt receive is on how to keep talking, listening, and responding to the dynamics of race, gender, sexuality and class as they appear in our lives, both at work and at home. Listening to the requests, LTG organized its first "Night of Renewal" on February 9th.

That over 35 people showed up that evening while the first hard snowfall fell outside is a testimony to people's yearning for and interest in this kind of conversation. Using a World Cafe format to start, Willie and Steve soon found the room abuzz with expressions of connection and insight as people spoke about why they were there on this windswept night. Seeking connection with others, feeling a need to let go of anger, and a desire to heal by listening and sharing were the kind of themes that folks quickly discussed. People who had never known each other were sharing personal stories of real intimacy that made people laugh sometimes, cry sometimes, and sometimes do both.

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Both LTG partners spoke of their own struggles, helping remind people that there is no "exalted place" that one finally arrives at where one no longer has to re-visit these issues in a deeper and deeper way. Instead, as Willie said, "true liberation is not freedom from struggle but to engage with struggle, each and every day."

A genuine sense of relief conducive to healing and re-generation was in the room--relief to be connected and not be alone, to know that staying with these tough issues was what helped each of us to grow rather than stagnate. As Steve said towards the end of the evening, "As Paulo Freire wrote, 'to be fully human is to be incomplete.' What a relief!"

People soon were buttoning up their coats and adjusting their scarves for the snow that was about to greet them. As one attendee remarked, "Hey, it's okay to go out there...I got warm enough here tonight to last for a while!"

Let's Keep the Conversation Going on Race, Power and Privilege.

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This page contains a single entry by Leadership Transformation published on March 17, 2010 12:10 PM.

A Gathering Of Change Makers was the previous entry in this blog.

Book Video Conversations #1 is the next entry in this blog.

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