Community Dialogue Series: 'Forgiveness

Community Dialogue Series: 'Forgiveness: An Imperative for Healing and Reconciliation' is Nov. 15 and 16

From Multicultural Student Services

"If conversation is the natural way that humans think together," says organizational development expert and author Dr. Margaret J. Wheatley, "what gets lost when we stop talking to each other ... we stop acting intelligently" (from Wheatley's Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future).

The core convictions of the University of St. Thomas state that as a community we are committed to "pursuit of truth, academic excellence, faith and reason, dignity, diversity, personal attention and gratitude"; moreover, we aspire to challenge students to "change our world."

To support these convictions and our mantra, the Multicultural Student Services Office sponsors Community Dialogues. Multicultural Student Services began this new series in fall 2005 and we invite students, faculty and staff to join us for the 2006-07 offerings. The fall 2006 topic is "Forgiveness: An Imperative for Healing and Reconciliation."

Choose one of these dates to participate in this dialogue:

  • 4-6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15, in Room 155, Murray-Herrick Campus Center
  • 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, in the Koch Commons Fireside Room

Participants will engage in a conversation on the importance of forgiveness – of oneself and of others. Representatives from various faith traditions will provide insight on the overlapping messages teaching the importance of forgiveness and its healing effects on individuals and communities. 

"To engage in dialogue is one of the simplest ways we can begin as teachers, scholars and critical thinkers to cross boundaries, the barriers that may or may not be erected by race, gender, class, professional standing and a host of other differences” (from Teaching to Transgress, Education as the Practice of Freedom by social activist and feminist bell hooks).

The intent of the Community Dialogue program is to challenge members of the St. Thomas community to engage in honest and meaningful conversations centering on topics that are consistent with our convictions. Dialogues will encourage listening and understanding of experiences and perceptions different from one's own, challenge us to probe for deeper levels of awareness and perhaps discover new ways of building a stronger community.  

Spring 2007 dialogue: "In God's Image: Reflections on Race and Privilege"

Campus Ministry will co-host the spring semester dialogue on "In God's Image: Reflections on Race and Privilege." We have invited Archbishop Harry Flynn to share his reflections on his pastoral letter on racism to engage participants in a candid conversation. Dates for the spring sessions are: from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7, and again from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8. Both sessions will be held in Room 304, Murray-Herrick Campus Center.

Please contact Denise Dieffenbach for more information. We appreciate your support in encouraging students to attend and hope to see you there as well.