News Release: Hamilton, Bermuda –
The next Truth & Reconciliation Community Conversations begin Wednesday 25th September at the Human Rights Commission from 6pm to 8:30pm, and will run for seven consecutive Wednesdays, ending November 6th.
We hope the public will take this opportunity to sit together with others to talk about the challenges that face us today and how we need to grow in community and understanding.
The passions run deep, but so can the laughter! Not all the discussions are easy, but we start off in a way that ensures people grow together. Some think it’s about converting people to a way of thinking, however its more about helping people create empathy through sharing, often very different perspectives, but each talking from their own experience and truth, whilst learning to listen to others’ views and perspectives.
We haven’t had anyone (yet) stomp out of the room, in fact we’ve only had a few that have dropped out after a few sessions, with about 97% staying the course. People stick around, they realise that what they are talking about is important, they are hearing perspectives and stories that they have never been exposed to before. They are creating relationships, listening to each other, and talking authentically about the issues.
One session is about Black History, and both blacks and white attendees are shocked and angry at how much has been missed out of the history books. Even young attendees tell of how little they learned about Bermuda’s history.
Perhaps what is most exciting is that people do leave transformed. Whether it’s the feeling of at last being able to get pain and hurt off their chest and able to share with others, or the understanding that there is so much more to be learned and understood. Groups oftentimes don’t want to stop meeting and have gone on to create book clubs, or gatherings. There is a common understanding that what is happening is good and needed, and personal growth and reflection is a constant.
Next year we will be entering our fourth year of running the Community Conversations, we aim to continue till we reach the 1,000 people. We see this as a critical tipping point for our society, we need to bridge the racial divide, the two Bermudas, that has existed in this community for centuries.
We need to create a new narrative around our relationships. The only way is to communicate, learn about our fellow countrymen, their trials and tribulations, form relationships and learn about the past, and what is needed to heal and repair ourselves.
Each person who attends leaves with a better understanding of what is needed to effect positive social change.
When you are seeking a more healthy and restorative community, it takes work and sincere commitment to find a better way forward. Join us as we work together to repair and uplift our people and our country.
- For more information: Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register or call 505 0112