Dialogue partners cover a wide range of identities and experiences: they could be people who deal with alcoholism, housing insecurity, and mental illness. They could be immigrants, refugees, transgender, non-binary, or formerly incarcerated. People of misunderstood and marginalized religious identities are also included as well as police officers, activists, and people experiencing homelessness. Some dialogue partners are bilingual and we will also have translators available for Spanish speakers to speak with English speaking dialogue partners.
The overarching idea is that it is difficult to see someone as “other” when you have had an opportunity to connect with them as a human being, therefore through these simple conversations, deep divisions can begin to be healed.
We will be incorporating art into the event, and envision a tapestry where participants can write some of their identities on pieces of cloth and we can weave a tapestry, a visual expression of our “social fabric”. Local artist Andrew Purchin will be there with his “Curious Scroll” and we will have a table with a variety of stickers that have different identities printed on them for people to choose and potentially think more deeply about identity and labels. In addition we will have listening stations to experience what it is like to be really heard.
Bring your family and make a day of it!