Friday, August 19, 2022

This church is leading virtual discussions on race and power. Here’s how you can participate

(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Unsplash)
(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Unsplash)

There is no doubt about the amount of distress and discord our country has been experiencing lately.

With the pandemic on top of protests over racial injustice and abuse of power, it can all be extremely overwhelming and frustrating.

So where is the solution?

Inner Haven Metaphysical Ministry in Williamsburg is working to dispel the unrest and create a productive and inclusive environment by hosting three virtual community discussions throughout September. Each meeting will be on a Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m.

Rev. Penelope Carroll, the ministry’s founder, will be leading the discussions.

Carroll also hosted another community forum on Aug. 15. As a result, the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office asked her to be co-chair of their new Citizen Advisory Committee.

“We want to understand so we can bridge that gap,” Carroll said in a phone interview a few weeks ago.

She emphasized how having an active discussion and empathy is the first step to finding a solution.

“So everyone understands each other and where each other is coming from, then we can deescalate the situation on both sides,” she said.

The first meeting is called White on White, and is for white community members specifically. This one will be on Sept. 12. The second meeting, Black on Black, is for Black community members. This one will be on Sept. 19.

For the third and final meeting, One Unified Group, Carroll will invite both groups to meet together over Zoom on Sept. 26 to discuss each group’s findings.

Carroll will also provide participants with guided discussions questions. Some of the questions ask what participants associate the word “power” with and if they think power determines privilege.

“My hope is it will spark honest answers and in depth conversations, ending in attainable goals,” Carroll wrote in an email. “I truly believe that each of us are the solution.”

If you are interested in participating in the discussions, you can find the meeting information on Inner Haven’s Facebook page.

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