In an effort to create more opportunity for dialogue between different members of the community, Trinity English Lutheran Church hosted a “Dialogue on Race Series.” The 10-week series ended in late May.
The conversations were facilitated by Fort Wayne UNITED and Ivy Tech Vice-Chancellor for Student Success, Chris Cathcart.
About 40 Fort Wayne residents attend the last discussion where they spoke openly about race relations in the city.
Joel Crandall moved to Fort Wayne five years ago and after hearing about the event he decided to attend.
“I was curious about the racial dynamic in the city. It was all kinda new to me. It got me to think about a lot of things. And examine what was going on in my own mind and confront of a lot of things I had never thought about before,” said Crandall.
Adrianna McNab was invited to the discussion. She says she was surprised to see so many people attend and, even though she thought most people would be set in their ways, she thought it was amazing to see people being open minded.
“It was crazy to see some people actually genuinely don’t know about the privileges they have, or the struggles that other minorities face. So I think for someone looking in they would really think that was an amazing opportunity to have,” said McNab.
Cathcart says he believes there are a lot of people in Fort Wayne that want to be a part of the solution to the issue of separation and difference in the city.
“This is an example of how people, when they come together, can start coming up with ideas. That we need to make Fort Wayne a more inclusive place,” said Cathcart.
Organizers say they want to continue the conversations and are thinking of new ways to invite the community to join the conversation.