and now #WhatHappenedToSandraBland.
How can we stop this?
I just listed a few of the Twitter hashtags that have been coursing through the internet lately. If you do an internet search on any of these hashtag categories, you will find active discussions and conversations around each topic.
Though Twitter and Facebook may be great forums for quick conversations and the sharing of ideas, it cannot replace the impact of sharing a meal at the table with another person, being present to another person's joy or sadness, or giving a hug of welcome.
Racism isolates us from each other, creating divisions around socially manufactured inequalities and myths. It feeds on fear and perpetuates a growing tolerance for violence in our neighborhoods and communities. Why should we allow this to continue?
There are solutions to break the cycles of racism and isolation: Become Community. Build Relationships. Step Out of Your Box and Make New Friends. Practice Hospitality among Strangers. In short: Sow Love around you.
Hate cannot grow when We Sow Love. Hate cannot grow when we Invite Strangers to Become our Neighbors. Hate cannot grow when We Build Community.
We can do this work of relationship and community building. For our part, the MLK Institute will begin to organize a series of Beloved Community Dinners, and you will be invited. Stay tuned, details coming soon.
You can do something, too.
In fact, we can do this work of Becoming Community together. We can Sow Love. Why wait? Let us begin now.
Rev. Doris K. Dalton
Executive Director, MLK Institute for Nonviolence
Recap: Since Charleston
Since #Charleston, the MLK Institute has been working to lead people toward Becoming Community.
I participated in "One Week Later", an interfaith service and march for the community, one week after the Charleston shooting. We saw an amazing outpouring of interfaith and interracial support. This photo, by Andrew Courtney, shows me, a Chinese American clergy person wearing my MLK t-shirt, being interviewed by an African American reporter, with a Caucasian rabbi nearby, all while standing outside the African American Baptist church. Community can be so beautiful to behold!
I facilitated discussion during the Supper and Study portion of the Affirming Racial Equality and Dignity service on June 28. Led by the AJC and hosted by Mount Hope AME Church, we had a powerful interfaith service, and a rich discussion time considering how we create space for strangers to become our neighbors though the practice of hospitality. To read more about this service, click here to for the Journal News article.
Last week, I participated in the AJC radio show with other event organizers to discuss the impact of this service. We talked powerfully about how we are united by the Love that propels our different faith journeys, how Love is an action and a worthy discipline. To hear our discussion, you can click here for the full podcasted show.
What's Up with WCPR
Our monthly WCPR (Westchester Coalition for Police Reform) meetings are held on the 2nd Thursday of each month. These monthly meetings are focused on addressing our coalition priorities that will build stronger relationships between community and law enforcement throughout Westchester County. Our next meeting will be Thursday, August 13, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. We meet at Memorial UMC (250 Bryant Avenue, White Plains).
We just had our second WCPR lunch discussion meeting this past Wednesday, and we had a great time! We meet once a month at Panera Bread to talk about wide-ranging topics related to law enforcement, racism, violence, and how we can impact Westchester County.
Our next lunch discussion gathering will be on Wednesday, August 26 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Panera Bread (1 N. Broadway, White Plains).
Here's a poorly-shot selfie of a few of the folks from our WCPR lunch discussion group this past Wednesday.
Join us for lunch on August 26! And bring your selfie stick!
Meet Our Summer Intern!
I am happy to introduce Brianna, our Social Media Summer Intern!
She is 17 years old, and will be entering her senior year
at White Plains High School.
She plans to pursue a career in Communications, and is getting a great start with us!