Community Conversations on Youth Detention - After Action Report Update
Although I am not in leadership with Davenport Bearing Witness, I wanted to share this information with our community. The following is an excerpt from Praxis: the Davenport Bearing Witness Newsletter. It describes the successful presentations on October 28th and 29th that we wrote about in this PACG blog post, Community Conversations - Youth Detention: Short and Long-Term Implications in Today's Issues. Many PACG members participated in the three offered events. I was proud to look around the room to see so many familiar faces! In addition, Davenport Bearing Witness now has a Facebook page to help you find out how you can connect to work on these important issues.
From Praxis: Ubuntu, is an African humanist philosophy based on a culture of sharing, openness, mutual dependence, dialogue and interpersonal encounter.
In Ubuntu, human existence reaches fulfillment as part of whole, society thrives on a common humanity, and forgiveness and reconciliation are prerequisites for preserving social harmony.
From We Keep Us Safe: Building Secure, Just, and Inclusive Communities,
by Zach Norris.
"Now more than ever we need to engage with each other and with our democracy. We need to build our tolerance for constructive disagreement so that we feel safe participating. We need to make our voice heard in support of the kinds of government spending and programs that will support our well-being and safety. We know what the impact is of members in the community and neighbors who engage, who listen to each other across differences and become involved in helping each other out, and who help solve domestic challenges and share with each other."
Over the last 48 - 72 hours many of us experienced just a small taste of what an Ubuntu experience can feel like. The gatherings on Thursday evening and Friday were also reminders of the democratic process Zach Norris describes above. In a democracy, all of us have a role and accountable for keeping each other safe.
Big picture. Democracy is pretty cool. Slowly emerging out of the pandemic, it may have been a while since many of us have been in settings like we experienced at Friends of MLK Interpretive Center on Thursday and Eastern Iowa Community College on Friday. Dr. Wilson created a safe and inclusive space for us to embody and experience democracy.
Our panelists - Mike Guster, Scott Hobart, Jeremy Kaiser, and Marcy Mistrett - were awesome in respecting their differences of opinion. And even more impressively, and more frequently - areas where they are in agreement.
We will remember Thursday evening's powerful witness of young people and young adults, parents and grandparents, neighbors from all over Davenport.
The space was not large enough to hold all of our physical bodies.
On Friday, representatives from the faith, business, education, research and advocacy, philanthropic, elected officials and policy makers and community organizations also participated in a witness of the potential power of democracy.
In all, over 150 of us experienced and created a space for public discourse and democracy. Thank you all!
Our work ahead is to make sure the Scott County Board of Supervisors is listening.
The Quad-Cities Times wrote an article about these meetings here.