Day of Dialogue: Appreciating Our Differences

By: Ilyssa Trussel Email
By: Ilyssa Trussel Email

January 15, 2007 11:17 pm

Monday afternoon hundreds of Tallahassee residents gathered for a day of dialogue.

Attendees looked back at the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior and looked ahead to a day when the community is more unified socially, culturally and racially.

"It's an opportunity for us to list practical things that we can do individually as well as collectively to bring people closer together," said organizer Sharon Ofuani.

Shauna Smith, a teacher at Tallahassee Community College, said she attended to become invigorated.

"One of the points one of the panelists made today is the need to try to be more interpersonal and try to meet people one on one and not group people according to this group of people or that group of people because each person is an individual."

Tallahassee resident Donna Gabrielle noticed some are divided religiously.

"One thing that was mentioned today that is really a great idea is getting people of different religious backgrounds to talk to other people for example a minister in one church to go to a different kind of church."

Keshia McCloud owns a beauty salon in Tallahassee and says more can be done in the workplace to bridge the gap.

"You can't just look at people's outer appearance, but their work ethic. That's a part of the faith and deeds we have to do with people. It's not just about how a person looks on the outside."

Cory McFarland was one of the youngest on the panel. He says age shouldn't divide people; it should bring them together.

"These days the way society is set up is by gender. Young people here, older people hang out there," he said. "So in business and in life you can kind of get everybody together to learn things."

The theme today was taking words to action. The public is invited to join study circles to talk further about race relations and to come up with solutions to problems facing our community.

The study groups will meet weekly. For more information, call the City of Tallahassee's Equity and Workforce Development Office at (850) 891-8290.


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