Truth & Reconciliation Community Conversations

September 25, 2018

Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda [CURB] is working toward completing the second year of its Truth & Reconciliation project with the commencement of its Community Conversations initiative.

A spokesperson said, “With the commencement of next week’s Truth & Reconciliation Community Conversations [TRCC], CURB will be successfully completing the second year of its Truth & Reconciliation project, having launched the truth and reconciliation process in January 2017. What initially began as an ambitious three-year project has now been expanded to five years.

“The Community Conversations have been held island-wide with CURB partnering with local churches, Bermuda College, Bermuda National Library and the Human Rights Commission to host the groups. The sessions are free to the public and run by trained volunteer facilitators.

“Using pre and post surveys, feedback from the Community Conversations has shown that the outcomes are overwhelmingly positive with many stating that they appreciate the way the groups are run and the friendships and sharing they experienced. CURB too has learned from the process with feedback from the participants and as a consequence have made changes to the format and process to respond to those needs.

“They have found in particular that smaller groups work better, allowing a more intimate setting and time for all voices to share and create the relationships necessary to have authenticate and deep conversations. The goal is to reach over 1,000 people in 5 years, and with smaller groups and a continuing need in the community, CURB President Lynne Winfield said that the groups are now run more frequently and/or two groups are run concurrently.

“CURB facilitators have all been trained in Restorative Practices under the auspices of the International Institute of Restorative Practices, and each group is assigned an experienced Lead Facilitator with two Assistant Facilitators. Each week the group explores a new subject matter and educational materials are provided along with short film clips. Deep conversations result as people share in community.

“Participants are encouraged to attend the weekly sessions for the entire seven weeks, as this creates the relationships and community necessary to foster the trust needed to explore some of the difficult subjects discussed. Using Restorative Practices as the guiding principle empowers participants to share stories, listen and be heard, and think creatively about how positive societal change can be achieved.

“The sessions end with participants contributing their ideas as to what can be done to repair the harm and create a fairer and more equitable society in Bermuda.

“What we have found is that as the participants continue to meet they form a cohesive group, each committed to the process and realizing that it is the first time they have been in an environment where relationships begin to form allowing them to get to know each other better. Through a variety of exercises and experiences, common ground is found allowing people to share their own experiences, whilst listening with empathy to the life experiences of others.

“There are times when people are triggered by something someone says which they find biased, but this probability is talked about at the beginning of the sessions and the facilitators offer the groups a chance to explore together those triggers, and unpack them in a non-judgmental way so that all understand and learn from the process.

“A powerful outcome has been that post the sessions, participants have gone on to stay in touch with each other, formed book clubs, held BBQs, and continued their own learning. The TRCC keeps them informed of other opportunities to meet up with other TRCC Alumni at learning events around the island.

“CURB is grateful to the volunteer facilitators who have contributed their time, passion and energy over the last two years, and to those in the community who commit to the process of learning and exploring the complex social history that has formed the current social outcomes of race relations in our community.

“Those who might wish to register for the upcoming sessions beginning Wednesday, October 3, or who might like their names added to CURB’s contact list for the next sessions in January 2019, are asked to email or call 505-1112.”

click here Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda

Read More About

Category: All

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Rocky5 says:

    There would be a much better response to this if it was not operated by CURB. They are pro-PLP, and anti-OBA. They never comment when black people (e.g. The Irritated Genie) make outlandish racist remarks, but always comment when any white person says anything