Over 50 people attended a recent forum on race, violence and community, jointly sponsored by UUCY and Let’s Talk. This was the second in what are planned to be a series of community conversations. The first was held in the spring of 2015. Featured speaker was the Rev. David Helseth, retired Pastor at Englewood Christian Church in Yakima, and additional comments offered by new Yakima Mayor Avina Gutierrez. Also on hand and contributing was the new Yakima City Manager, Cliff Moore, Yakima County Sheriff Brian Winter, and local member of the Washington State Commission on Hispanic Affairs David Morales. Most importantly, many other people of all colors and backgrounds were present, and many spoke of their experiences, and all listened attentively and respectfully.
Although someone commented that we would have been better off holding this event on a night on which the US President wasn’t speaking at a party convention, I walked away convinced that real democracy happens in church basements when people share their experiences with one another, rather than sitting in the living room watching politicians on TV. Thanks to all who came out.