Powerful Conversations on Race is a monthly community dialogue exploring topics around race and racism and the resulting impact facilitated by Spirit & Place. This IS NOT a lecture or book club, but a space for community to come together and dive deeply into a variety of topics concerning race.
Beginning in Summer 2021 there will be a variety of opportunities to explore race through different tracks including, but not limited to:
Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism and
Racial Violence (Starts July 11, 2021)
Race & . . . (Starts August 8, 2021)
Racial Trauma and Healing (Fall 2021, TBD)
Whiteness & White Privilege (Spring 2022, TBD)
Second Sunday of the Month*
3 - 5 pm*
Virtual for the foreseeable future
Click here to RSVP for dialogues.
Once you RSVP, you'll receive a confirmation with a ZOOM link to join the dialogue virtually. RSVP's close at 11:59 pm the Friday before a dialogue.
*Note: Some dates are changed due to holiday schedules. Due to the nature of online dialogues, we will not be able to allow participants entry after 3:15 pm.
How to participate?
Charleston Syllabus Deep Dive
If you are new to race dialogues, then we suggest you start here. Rooted in the text, Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism and Racial Violence, this track is a deep dive examination of how race and racism gets started and rooted in our society. Each topic is covered two months in a row with each dialogue ran by different facilitators and rooted in different source materials. Launches July 11, 2021. Topics include:
Slavery, Survival, and Community Building
July 11th and August 8th 2021
Religious Life, Spirituality, and Racial Identity
September 12th and October 10th 2021
The Civil War and Reconstruction in History and Memory
November 21st 2021 and January 9th 2022
Jim Crow, Racial Politics, and Global White Supremacy
February 13th and March 13th 2022
Civil Rights and Black Power
April 10th and May 8th 2022
Race & . . . .
This dialogue series explores the various ways race impacts our society across sectors. Topics change monthly and may be explored once or for 2-3 months only. Topics may include, but are not limited to include: Indiana History, Gender Issues & Race, Unigov, etc.
Launches August 8, 2011
Session run concurrent with Charleston Syllabus
Racial Trauma and Healing
This dialogue explores how to address racial trauma and avenues towards healing. It meets once per week for 4-6 weeks.
Facilitated by Dr. Maria Hamilton Abegunde
Fall 2021: Date & Time TBD
Whiteness, White Privilege & White Supremacy
This dialogue explores the concepts and impact of Whiteness, White Privilege and White Supremacy and is in development. This is the number one requested dialogue by community members.
Tentative Spring 2022: Date & Time TBD
How it Works
How is this dialogue series different than others? While we will root our dialogues in text from The Charleston Syllabus: Reading on Race, Racism and Racial Violence, as well as other text-based source materials, THIS IS NOT A BOOK DISCUSSION. Nor is it a lecture series.
Each month we'll choose 1 or 2 readings and other source materials such as art, music, poetry, lyrics and videos to ground our conversation. Facilitators trained in the Civic Reflection Dialogue method will use these materials to further support and push our discussion into deeper examination and reflection on our underlying beliefs around race and racism in America and its implications. It is not necessary to read or engage with any of the source materials before we meet. In fact we encourage everyone to come to the table as is.
Click here to here to learn more about Civic Reflection Dialogue.
We greatly appreciate RSVP's so we can plan accordingly. Please RSVP no later than the 11:59 pm the Friday before each Sunday session. Due to the nature of online dialogues, we will not be able to allow entry those participants in that arrive after 3:15 pm.
These are just a few of the folks that make Powerful Conversations on Race possible. Special thanks to our facilitators.
Dr. Maria E. Hamilton Abegunde is a Memory Keeper, poet, ancestral priest in the Yoruba Orisa tradition, healer, and full-spectrum community doula. Her most recent works address anti-Black racism and violence, genocide, sexual violence, contemplative practices, and healing in the US, Brazil, and Juba, South Sudan.
Dountonia is a DEI and racial equity practitioner, advocate, mediator, and educator with 20 years of experience partnering with government agencies, political campaigns, organizations, academic institutions, businesses, faith-based initiatives, and communities seeking to fulfill their purpose. She works in rural, suburban, and urban environments to support clients’ and their efforts to engage in comprehensive assessment processes, as well as promote equity in practice and outcomes.
Wesley R. Bishop is a historian, writer, and editor living in Indianapolis. He is an assistant professor of American history at Marian University Indianapolis where he researches and teaches on social movements, working class history, and American political thought. He is the founding and managing editor of The North Meridian Review: A Journal of Culture and Scholarship, an independent humanities journal housed in northern Indianapolis.
Manon Voice, is a native of Indianapolis and is a poet, spoken word artist, freelance writer, hip-hop emcee and social justice activist. She has performed on many diverse stages using the power of word and song and has taught and facilitated art, poetry and spoken word workshops through organizations such as Regeneration Indy and WomIN’s Festival 2017. Manon Voice seeks to use her art and activism to create a communal space where dialogue, transformation, discovery and inspiration can occur.
As a musician and arts administrator, Pam leads initiatives that blend creativity, community-building, and spirituality. She serves as director of Spirit & Place, a community-based initiative housed in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, and she is a certified trainer for Civic Reflection Dialogue and Restorative Practices. An active composer and choral conductor for nearly 30 years, Pam is also certified by the Community Choir Leadership Training program of the Ubuntu Choir Network.
Crowe Storm is a mixed media artist, activist, community builder and occasionally an urban farmer. Whether she is making artwork or sowing seeds, Crowe Storm uses her creative power as a vehicle for dialogue, social change and healing. At the core of Crowe Storm's creative practice is a desire to create community; any community in which the process of making art creates a space and place for difficult conversations around a variety of topics, with an eye to community healing.
Keesha Dixon is currently the Executive Director of the Asante Art Institute of Indianapolis, Inc. She serves on local and national committees to further the tradition of Black storytelling, or to improve the quality of life for others. She is a conscious-minded culture worker striving to preserve and protect the true history of Africans, enslaved Africans, and African Americans. Keesha is a veteran of the United States Air Force Reserves.
Richarde W Donelan, EdD is the CEO and Founder of Turn North Now serving as a devoted Life-Wellness Coach/Facilitator. Richarde is an active eCPR (Emotional Connection, Empowerment, and Revitalization) Consultant and Lead Trainer for the National Empowerment Center.
Jill is a native of Indianapolis and a graduate of DePauw University. Jill began working with impoverished families in Marion County in 1993 and abused/neglected children in 1996. In 2001 she began training foster parents in the care of traumatized youth, with a focus on understanding diversity. Jill currently trains CASA volunteers and represents abused and neglected children as a Guardian ad Litem.
Stuart Greene, Ph.D,. is professor emeritus from Notre Dame (English and Africana Studies), is a restorative justice circle keeper and trainer, leads anti-racism workshops for teachers, and serves as a Trustee on the South Bend Community School Corporation Board.
Jeff Howell is a native of Central Indiana and has lived in Indianapolis since 2000, at which time he began volunteering in poverty-related/social justice work including: Shepherd Community food pantry, Trusted Mentors- mentoring those returning to society from homelessness/incarceration, Undoing Racism- racial equity and poverty training, Circles Indy- addressing poverty through healthy relationships, and Moral Mondays- political advocacy for the underserved.
Dalila Huerta is a first-generation Xicana, youth educator, consultant, and restorative justice practitioner. Through community dialogues, artistic exploration, and circle work, she uplifts ancestral wisdom and marginalized history to address racial and colonial injustice. She finds inspiration through gardening and in the unwavering courage and honesty of young people.
Upcoming sessions will be virtual until further notice.
We will notify the community of any changes via the Spirit & Place newsletter and this website.
Click here to register for the upcoming dialogues.
Click here to sign-up for Spirit and Place newsletter to stay up-to-date on events associated with Powerful Conversations on Race.
Spirit & Place
The Polis Center
1200 Waterway Blvd.
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Interested in tackling these issues around race, but don't know where to start?
Click here for a comprehensive list of resources concerning racial equity, justice and healing developed by the W.K. Kellog Foundation.
Trainings and other resources you can access locally and nationally include the following:
Saint Paul's Episcopal Church
Spirit & Place is a community initiative of the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. Powerful Conversations on Race series began with core funding from Indiana Humanities with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities' "Legacy of Race and Ethnicity Initiative" in 2017, plus additional support from The Indianapolis Foundation, a CICF affiliate, Saint Paul's Episcopal Church as well as our foundational project partners: MLK Center, Duos Indy, and the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. This series is endorsed by the Race and Cultural Relations Leadership Network of the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee and the Office of the Mayor, City of Indianapolis.
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