It's a subject some would rather avoid.
For Continuing the Conversation (CTC), a Peninsula group formed in 2013 whose vision is “a racism-free society through transformed hearts and minds,” it's the “staple” of ongoing dialogue.
On Wednesday nights in October from 6:45 to 8:15 p.m., CTC is sponsoring Talk Race Forums at Point Loma Community Presbyterian Church, 2128 Chatsworth Blvd. The series continues Oct. 12, 19 and 26.
Forum participants will learn about the history between black and white in this nation and in the church. Discussion will focus on the definition of racism and the roles it plays in society. The subject will be looked at from the Biblical perspective of diversity, attempting to come up with thoughtful solutions to racial issues.
Classes will include lecture, activity and small-group interaction. Classes are open to all people regardless of race or religious affiliation. “The focus however will mostly be on the African-American and Caucasian-American populations within a Christian context,” said CTC spokesperson Dr. Carla Staybolt.
Staybolt noted CTC predates the recent resurfacing of racial issues surrounding nationwide incidents of African-Americans shot by Caucasian-American police.
“Our group has been continuing the conversation (about racism) for the last three years,” said Staybolt, noting the idea for talking about race “grew out of a course on racism at Point Loma Presbyterian Church.”
Staybolt said some surprising — and shocking — incidents have been related at Point Loma Presbyterian.
“We had an African-American man who told a story about living in the South, who cut a deal with a local white group to leave town, preventing his being lynched,” she said adding another African-American man “talked about being followed in Nordstrom by security. It happens.”
Staybolt said CTC's goal is not so much to preserve the moral high ground as it is to “bring justice to our African-American brothers and sisters.”
Staybolt added CTC envisions and works towards a racism-free San Diego community.
“Racism is a reality in our communities and world, and so is the conversation that seeks to acknowledge, understand — and move past it,” she concluded.
Asked the “why” of the recently allegedly racially motivated incidents between African Americans and police in American society, Staybolt replied, “We all have iPhones and take videos, and I think that (technology) has taken it (altercations) up a notch as we have webcams now in police cars and on police officers,” she said.
Education is key to addressing the racial disparities and guaranteeing educational opportunities for all races, Staybolt said.
“We need voices of reason in all areas, all of our communities,” she said adding, “We're working on that.”
For more information, visit www.talkrace.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.