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Transformational Conversations about Racism – A Need For Empathy in Mediation

Use of racial terms provides a flash point with a quick reaction on social media, and institutionally that is differentially applied by race, but can be expected due to the history of slavery, personal racism and structural racism in our society.  Even so, this differential application of sanctions leads to feelings of persecution and banishment from certain social subgroups, and it causes shredded relationships, even among persons with long histories of friendship. No safe social space seems to exist for the discussion of issues such as race and racism from the many different perspectives that exist simultaneously in our society today.

Even with all of the corporate styled training sessions available for Diversity and Inclusion issues, a need exists for smaller conversations about race and racism. What we seem to lack is a place for transformational conversations, a place where people can come together for an hour, or two, and talk in small groups with a mediator or facilitator guiding the discussion so that everyone can not just speak, but be heard, and be heard empathetically.