Field Trip to National Memorial for Peace and Justice, Montgomery, Alabama

with Peter Forbes and Robin White

This spring we gathered a group of 18 friends in Montgomery, Alabama to learn about history and to confront truths of the past that persist in the present. We were fortunate to meet with Bryan Stevenson at the Equal Justice Initiative, and he told us, “Truth and reconciliation are sequential; there is no reconciliation without the truth.”

We thank Robin White, our co-guide and dear friend, for her leadership. In a letter to all of us about our collective ‘civic responsibility’ before the trip, she wrote:

Emotions can run high when you seek to understand the unfamiliar. We will gather to understand, gain knowledge and celebrate the human spirit. Pain has a life of its own, a rhythm that cannot exist without joy or happiness. As servants we will know pain, it is incumbent upon us to find that balance. One thing that rang true with all of us is the depth of humanity that has taken residence in our souls. Sometimes life will render us paralyzed as we navigate others through unwarranted storms.  Although it is difficult to heal when one has been hardened for years. Still, summoning courage will cause you to inquire about your civic responsibility, as we journey this weekend in our sanctuary circle.

After our journey together Robin shared these thoughts:

What vessel will you use to make a difference in this world?

What is your legacy as brokers of your narratives, as our path is changed with every choice we make? This is our season of hope, teaching, learning and a call to action for genuine transformation.  One cannot serve the community if one lacks an understanding of those they propose to serve. However, as we lean into a better society, our transformation has begun, inducing moral courage.

Stand in your time and walk in grace and beauty, be well and grow in knowing that you are here for a reason, choose your own fights and pause when needed, live out loud, dance mountains, and let laughter ring through your soul in pursuance of hope and healing.

By joining our community, you become part of the story of this land.

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