MLK Day: Starting Dialogue

Attendees of the MLK Jr. Day program experienced face-to-face conversations about race relations on Simpson’s campus last Monday.

Joshua Barr, Des Moines Civil & Human Rights director, spoke about the power of dialogue in race issues.

“Dialogue is deeper than mere talking,” Barr said. “You need to process where others are coming from.” He highlighted a three-step process for effective communication:

  1. Hear what the other person is saying.
  2. Meditate on what they’re saying.
  3. Respond appropriately to what they stated.

He looked back on MLK’s approach. “King knew how to dialogue,” he said, continuing with points about how the conversation taking place was taking the first step to the future.

Following, participants were invited to talk with small groups about their perceptions of race relations on campus. Facilitators led them through discussions about the college’s handling of past race issues and experiences with these issues.

Attendees are encouraged to give feedback from the event here.

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