“On this platform of peace, we can create a language to translate ourselves to ourselves and to each other. We Angels and Mortals, Believers and Non-Believers, look heavenward and speak the word aloud. Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud. Peace. We look at each other, then into ourselves and we say without shyness or apology or hesitation. Peace, My Brother. Peace, My Sister. Peace, My Soul.”
– Maya Angelou
This poem by Dr. Maya Angelou began the conversation between the Dominican Sisters, Associates, staff and friends with Bishop Josephus Johnson, Founder and Senior Pastor of The House of The Lord in Akron, OH. The message of Dr. Angelou’s words was felt by all participants as we realized that we are a community of Peace and we can create a language by speaking words of Peace aloud without hesitation.
The conversation with Bishop Johnson and the Akron Dominicans of Peace community was designed to provide a forum for talking about race, and the title of the discussion was “Us” and “Them.” Bishop Johnson is a scholar and facilitator of programs on implicit bias, micro-aggressions, blind spots and “living in an unconsciously racial society.” The Sisters, Associates and Motherhouse staff joined in small group discussions and expressed personal feelings and experiences about the reality of discrimination, unconscious bias and the importance of talking about racial issues.
The Office of Associates is gathering a planning committee to answer the final question of this day that Bishop Johnson posed. The final question was “Where do we go from here?”