What an honor
In July, 2016, Dallas suffered an unimaginable tragedy with the murder of 5 police officers. With racial tensions already heightened, it appeared things were about to explode. Hence, Change the Perception’s COMMUNITY CONVERSATION was born.
In December, we were awarded a DFW Theater Critics Forum Special Citation for Community Conversation. On last week, I received a call to notify me that ‘Community Conversation’ would be receiving the
Live Theater League of Tarrant County’s 2018 Rudy Eastman Diversity Award. There are no words to express how honored we are. . As many of you know, this was never intended to be ongoing. This effort was born out of tragedy and a need in our community. From that tragedy came a path to better understanding and healing. We are committed to keeping that path open for as long as necessary. Since that initial gathering in July of 2016, we have had open, honest, respectful conversations around race relations, sexual harassment, mass incarceration and most recently, the importance of our vote. We now host gatherings in Ft. Worth every other month in addition to the monthly gatherings in Dallas. There are no speakers, panels or experts. We come together as concerned citizens, neighbors and, hopefully, friends to talk to and listen to each other about the issues facing our community that keep us divided. We are all races, ethnicities, orientations, genders, political affiliations, religions, beliefs and ALL are welcomed and respected and heard. And when we leave, hopefully we do so with a little more insight and compassion for the path our neighbors walk.
I owe a huge thank you to Robyn Flatt, Bart McGeehon and the Dallas Children’s Theater for generously opening their doors for our first gathering and allowing us a permanent space to meet after that. Thanks to Circle Theater and Stage West for opening their spaces in Ft. Worth. Thanks also to Second Thought, Kitchen Dog and WaterTower for hosting Community Conversations following selected performances. Special thanks go to Angie McWhirter, Vonda Klimaszewski, Ellen Osburn, Connie Coit, Randy Patterson for always stepping up and being just as passionate about our community as I am.
And, finally, thanks to every one of you who has come out to a Community Conversation to share a part of who you are in an effort to make our community and even our world a better place to live.
Join us for our next Community Conversation on Monday, March 26th at 6:30 at the Dallas Children’s Theater as we reach out to young people from all walks of life to LISTEN to their issues, HEAR their concerns and find out what they need from us.
We’re changing the world one conversation at a time. I hope to see you there.
Continued, love, appreciation and gratefulness,