MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - For the fourth and final time this year, the Alabama Institute for Social Justice (ALISJ) held a racial reconciliation forum to address racial tension in America.
“It’s our opportunity to hold a forum where people get to come together and have real dialogue about race relations, about some of the things that sometimes are difficult to talk about in certain circumstances,” said Alabama Institute for Social Justice President Michael Sibley. “We try to provide a platform where people can come together, say what’s on their mind, understand one another, and make a step forward in terms of racial reconciliation in this area.”
The conversation was led by social justice educator, Victor Lewis, who used his role in the 1994 documentary, “The Color of Fear,” to break down how he navigates racially charged situations.
“We need to be able to have real and deep conversations about our common lives as racialized people,” said Lewis.
He says having open dialogue is key for moving forward.
“Undoing racial injustice is really critical, integral, and central to the well-being and the future of the whole human family,” said Lewis.
Sibley says without people talking and listening, there won’t be any progress.
“The only way communication is effective is if its two-way. You can’t talk to a person and not listen to the other person," said Sibley. "This allows us an opportunity to hear from experts that are not just talking about how they feel. These are learning professionals that have done a lot of research.”
People that attended the forum said that they were looking for an outlet, and a way that they could get involved and find ways to be part of a solution.