This past weekend was the inaugural Person 2 Person, a three-day event in Montgomery where Sawyerville Day Camp staff talked about race. One of Sawyerville Day Camp’s goals is to help improve race relations in Alabama; this event did just that.
Over the course of the weekend, the group traveled to the Rosa Parks Museum, the Equal Justice Initiative, and the Freedom Rides Museum, and worshipped at Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King, Jr. was once the pastor. Outside of the field trips, we talked about the difference between stereotyping, discrimination, and racism; unpacked privilege and internalized oppression; told stories of times when we experienced or witnessed discrimination; and learned about the current situation in Standing Rock, ND and how indigenous people have been oppressed in the past. Together, we had deep conversations, revisited history, prayed, and dreamed.
During worship on Saturday night, the group took some time to reflect on Dr. King’s dream as well as our own. Here are some of the responses:
What’s your dream for Alabama?
- To take responsibility for our past and intentionally work together towards a more open, loving, and accepting state.
- To openly talk about our past and work towards a more inclusive future.
- For Alabama to become a place known for how well we welcome strangers and how gracefully we admit our wrongdoings and change our ways.
What’s your dream for your hometown?
- Racially and economically diverse school systems so that every student has equal opportunities.
- To understand our privilege and learn how we can eliminate that privilege by empowering other communities in our state.
- More diverse political beliefs, increased open-mindedness, progress in racial issues and others.
What’s your dream for Sawyerville Day Camp?
- A permanent facility/institution that can continue to educate, help, and grow both staff and campers.
- Our own space, integration, and continue spreading love amongst each other and the Black Belt community.
- A permanent facility and more diverse staff. More intentional race-based discussions.
This group had a great conversation about ways to make the staff community at camp even more inclusive. We’re looking forward to putting their ideas into action this summer.
If you weren’t able to participate in Person 2 Person this year, don’t worry, the event will happen again next year. Go ahead and mark your calendar for MLK weekend!
We’re so thankful to all of the people and groups who helped make Person 2 Person possible! Thank you to:
- St. John’s Episcopal Church, Montgomery
- St. Michael’s and All Angels Episcopal Church, Millbrook
- The Episcopal Church of the Ascension, Montgomery
- Carol Kendrick
- Neely McKenzie
- Rev. Dr. Tommie Watkins
- The Rosa Parks Museum
- The Equal Justice Initiative
- Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church
- The Freedom Rides Museum
- New South Books
- Person 2 Person Staff: Tye Edwards, Elliot Spillers, Allison Kendrick
- Person 2 Person Planning Committee: Tye Edwards, Kristin Blackerby, William Blackerby, Jermaine Cole, Emily Thornton, Allison Kendrick
Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’