Dialogue Circles on Race

SJM has partnered with the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Association of Westfield on an exciting and forward-thinking initiative, The Community Anti-Racism Community Collaborative (ARCC).

We have received funding from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities and the Westfield Foundation to offer our first set of programs, Dialogue Circles on Race: Facilitated Discussions about Race and Systemic Racism in American Life Today.

The first two Groups (the “Pilot”) were offered in February-March, 2019.  More Groups will be offered during the fall of 2019.

Email your questions about Dialogue Circles and the ARCC to 4AARCC.comm@gmail.com


Some background on Dialogue Circles on Race AND WHY WE NEED THEM:

We’re adopting a proven, successful Dialogue model

·         Summit Dialogue Circles on Race is sponsored by the Interfaith Council and the curriculum was developed by the Anti-Racism Committee of the Council.

·         Since 2015, seven semesters were offered, with ~30 groups and more than 300 participants.  Groups of 8-14 are led by two trained co-facilitators; they are ethnically diverse to the extent possible.

·         Groups engage in “Dialogue” rather than “Discussion” or “Debate.”  Relationships form as participants tell their stories and listen to the stories of others.

·         Four years of evaluations from Dialogue participants attest to the power, impact, and life-changing nature of this experience

A reminder of why dialogues among neighbors are timely and necessary:

·         The current socio-political climate has made the history, and current state, of structural and individual racism in the U.S. far more visible, e.g., a rash of hateful local graffiti incidents.

·         Black Americans and White Americans for the most part lead lives that intersect in limited ways.

·         Systemic sources of Implicit Bias are better understood than in the past, and findings will be shared through readings and talk

·         Dialogues on Race provide an opportunity to talk about racism, allowing Whites and Blacks to recognize its full effects and potentially change the narrative moving forward.


Sponsored by ARCC, Anti-Racism Community Collaborative

Made possible by funding from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities (NJCH)





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