Thinking About Race Thursday
The Borough of Carlisle’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) will partner with Second Presbyterian Church to hold its next “Thinking About Race Thursday.” The event will be held on May 12 at 6:00 p.m. at Second Presbyterian Church, 528 Garland Drive. Refreshments will be served.
The TRC began hosting “Thinking About Race Thursday” events began December of 2021. The events are a way for the TRC to hear directly from individuals in the community who have been impacted by systemic racism in a small group setting. “The Commission has decided that we are going to leverage our relationships with community members to hear more stories. We realize that it is very difficult for any citizen to show up at a meeting and unload their trauma. That is a lot to ask,” said TRC member Dorene Wilbur.
Community relationships are what interested Pastor Jeff Gibelius of Second Presbyterian Church in working with the Commission. He hopes that collaborating with the TRC and hosting the event will strengthen the relationships that Second Presbyterian Church has been building in the Carlisle community. “We live in conflicted times in a largely divided community. Courageous conversations are one way to build bridges of understanding and tear down walls of distrust between people of different cultures,” Gibelius said. “The people of Second Church are mostly White in background. We have worked closely with several of the historically African-American congregations in Carlisle for several years. Hosting courageous conversations about race is a logical extension of our partnerships and the movement to build ‘One Carlisle’.”
Similar to previous “Thinking About Race Thursday” events, anyone is welcome to join and participate in whatever capacity they feel comfortable. While the TRC’s mission is to uplift the voices of those impacted by systemic racism, this open session is not limited to one group or vantage point. There are no right or wrong answers; the Commission is primarily there to listen. Discussion prompts will be available if needed. The short video “Systemic Racism Explained” may also be a topic of discussion at the event. You can view the video in advance at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrHIQIO_bdQ.
The TRC’s mission statement commits the group to improving racial justice and racial equity by engaging the community in truth-telling and reconciliation. The TRC also examines policies and practices that contribute to systemic racism and develops guidance for Borough officials about the next steps for making the community more just and equitable.