Help us imagine – and create – a Tallahassee where in good times and bad, we gather across race, creed and ideology. Divergent opinion welcome.
Local Color Catalysts are an underground network of people from all viewpoints and walks of life who stay connected – despite and because of our differences – with a shared goal of building a Tallahassee that can transcend and transform racial division. Poised to gather from time to time, especially in the midst of controversy, we are devoted to frank discussion about race, politics, and life in America (and having fun while we’re at it).
Along with so many other Americans, we’ve watched the unfolding tragedy of growing racial tension over these past few years with a feeling of powerlessness. There have been too many deaths and too few solutions; too many stilted blue ribbon commissions and too little deep thought and real conversation.
So we challenged ourselves to think of another way. Close your eyes and imagine what a post-racial America looks like. How do we spend our free time and with who? How do we see our differences and similarities? What do we do when a tragedy occurs?
Imagine if in times of crisis instead of separating into feuding digital tribes, we instinctively gathered – even when it’s difficult – with neighbors across color, creed and ideology. We found inspiration in the Broadway play Hamilton, an embrace of the founding principles around which we gather as Americans, with the colors of faces that ought to have been an integral part of founding the American experiment from the beginning.**
We’re calling what we’ve imagined Local Color, and we’d like to invite YOU to be a part of creating it right here in Tallahassee. We’re inviting you to be one of our Local Color Catalysts – to help us build something new. Find more information about the Local Color project here.
We know you’re a busy person. So before you stop reading, rest assured we’re NOT asking you to join a board, chair a committee or sign on a dotted line. You’ll be a volunteer firefighter! When the you-know-what hits the fan, we’ll shine the “bat signal” and kick into gear! We’ll gather and talk in real, unflinching conversations about what needs to be said. And we’re not just welcoming diversity of opinion on race, we’re actively seeking it out – inviting this group of good people we know who represent the straining differences of opinion that exist. If our relationships are ever going to improve, it will only happen because we stayed together through these disagreements.
Here’s our ask of you: Join us this summer for 3 private get-togethers (all Mondays, 6-7:30pm at GrassLands Brewery: June 19, July 24 and September 11). No worries if you decide somewhere along the way that this is not for you. We’ll tell you what we’re thinking, find out what you’re thinking, and get to know each other (and have some fun while we do). And in September, we’ll invite the whole community to join what we’re building.
Questions? Want to know more? Vita Woodrich at (850) 559-6747 or Liz at 264-8785.
*Here’s the avatar we’ve been working with when we picked catalysts, in case it helps you decide if you want to be one: Community members who understand both the importance and urgency of authentic connection across societal divides. They have teachable spirits, a tolerance for relational tension and discomfort and are willing to be rigorously honest (or work toward that). Catalysts are our anchoring group, our “civic glue”.
**Then even Hamilton became politically divisive. See why this is so important?
This project is made possible through the generous support of: