Sunday, December 10, 2006

Conversation Document-Please Comment

The following was handed out at today's conversation meeting. We hope everyone will join the dialogue and comment.

The Conversation
Where talk IS action
Visit our blog at


The Conversation is a group of Tacoma and South Sound residents committed to the building of a diverse, critically engaged, social justice community for the task of procuring for ourselves and our communities a better life. With "Justice for All" as its foundational principle, the group has two primary foci; providing encouragement and support for social justice activists and promoting justice in such areas as legal system, wages, housing, healthcare, and education.
We aim to address justice through two essential and interrelated questions. The first is philosophical; What is the meaning of our lives--our relationship to each other, the world, the universe? The second is political and practical; What are our immediate socio-political responsibilities toward creating and promoting justice in a world stained by bigotry based on issues such as race, sex, class, and religion?

January 1, 2006, at the request of the leadership of Urban Grace--A Downtown (Tacoma, WA) Church-- Dexter Gordon started teaching Martin Luther King’s second book, Why We Can’t Wait to an adult Sunday school class. As a result of word of mouth and other publicity efforts, primarily by Rosalind Bell and other members of the class, on their own initiative, approximately fifty people, who are not members of Urban Grace, attended all or some portions of the class. Some persons in the class expressed a desire to see the class continue beyond the scheduled ending time. Eventually, tensions and disagreements between the leadership of the church and the group led to the group moving from the church, first to King Books, then to the Washington State History Museum, to the YWCA, and to its present location at Evergreen Tacoma.

Each Sunday, doors will open at 8:30-coffee, chitchat and settling in will occur between 8:30 and 9.

Members of the leadership team will arrive by 8:45.
We will begin at 9.
Each day’s program will be structured as follows:
Welcome & Introductions
Personal Stories
Moral Philosophical Question –Lecture
Small Group Discussion
Plenary Discussion
Announcements & Closing

The group is guided by a voluntary leadership team called The V Team. Membership is open to all.

The V Team is responsible for the following:

General development

The V Team is governed by the following:
Successive (Each leader will develop a successor)
The leader will be the person in the forefront of a role for a year with the successor as an associate. Thereafter the associate will assume the leadership role and a volunteer will be invited to become the new associate.
Volunteer leadership team so far:

Dexter Gordon - Conversation Facilitator
Associate -
Tom Hilyard - Political Mappigator
Associate -
Rosalind Bell - Purveyor of Arts, Letters and Epicurean Delights
Associate - Dianne powers
Laurie Arnold - Town Crier
Associate - Marla German
Jennine Matt - Media Coordinator
Associate -
Julia Harris - Finance & Budget Manager
Associate - Mona Baghdadi
Magdalena Nieves - Development
Associate -


We welcome anyone interested in promoting social justice to become a part of The Conversation. We frame our relationship as a healthily functioning family--we should be able to challenge one another, ask on another the hard questions and still love one another--still be committed to one another, just as family members are. And as a family, we strive to provide intellectual, moral, emotional, and spiritual support. We are mindful that people from different religious traditions and from no religious traditions share our commitment to social justice and we welcome and embrace all with a an awareness that our founding is grounded in the Christian prophetic tradition of liberation.


The Conversation is financed by voluntary contributions from those who attend its meetings.

1 comment:

Steve said...

I think that it's very good that there is now a structure in written form (being new enough, there may have been others I'm not aware of). It's always good to know how a group is going to function, perhaps making it easier to fit into one's schedule, and see your personal place in the structure.
I LIVE here in this neighborhood, and the subject matter being pursued in the "Conversation" is germaine to my geography. Walking to the "Conversation" I passed the Salvation Army, and a number of other social service organizations, that I doubt one would find in such concentration any other place in Tacoma, or Greater Tacoma. This weekly event isn't just a conversation for me. There is information here that I hope will make me a better part of this community, and I hope my personal community grows as a result of my participation in this group.
Steve Nebel