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Day of Dialogue Digs Deep

By: Ilyssa Trussel
By: Ilyssa Trussel

"How's your dialogue going? It's going good? Say good! Let's keep going," shouted Equity and Workforce Development Department Director Sharon Ofuani.

Ofuani's department worked with the city so people of different ages, races and religions could gather for a day of dialogue.

"What we want to do is make sure our community has an opportunity to talk with each other and discuss issues that we believe impact our community," said Tallahassee Mayor John Marks.

Ofuani says it’s no coincidence that the Day of Dialogue falls on Martin Luther King, Junior's birthday.

"We do it every year because we think Dr. King was right in the sense that we need to get to know one another to improve our relations with one another. The only way is to talk about those issues that are sensitive."

Sensitive issues like race, culture and religion.

"Around the table with six other people we have had a fabulous time of expressing ourselves, disagreeing, but primarily learning what other people think," said participant Charles Walker.

The group used sample questions to guide their discussions. Every few minutes a bell would ring to signify it was time to move on to another topic. Several religious leaders also attended the event at First Baptist Church.

Pastor Doug Dortch said he was glad to offer his church.

"Martin Luther King believed it’s important for us to live together in the community and to judge one another by the content of our character instead of by the color of our skin. This gets us moving in the direction of being able to value them for who they are and what they have to say."

More study circles are organized for the month of February. For more information, call the Equity and Workforce Development Department at 850 891-8290.


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