We at My Neighbor’s Voice join multitudes of others grieving the recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia, where white supremacists and neo-Nazis showed the utmost of hatred towards their fellow Americans in their violent protests of the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue which ended in tragedy.
We would also like to hold out hope that what we are doing in My Neighbor’s Voice is offering a better way for us to communicate with those we don’t agree with along ideological lines. Around our tables, we find common purpose even if common solutions are elusive. In bringing people together to listen to one another’s views, we are breaking down barriers of distrust and disrespect. We are actively building community that is vibrant because it builds on respect for one another using a sustainable model. Our model involves bringing 10-12 people together to go through 4 rounds of questions related to our civic life together. As we answer the questions, we listen to one another without the opportunity to respond in rebuttal. Over and over we have seen people come to a greater understanding of their neighbor’s views. It is this kind of understanding that would keep them from ever participating in violence like we saw in Charlottesville. Please take this opportunity to join in one of our dinners and see how we can build stronger communities, by building each other up, not tearing each other down, either physically or verbally. We look forward to seeing you at table.
Mary Anne Inglis