In Mississippi this week, it's about crime and punishment. Here in Greensboro, it's about truth and reconciliation.
Some notes from Tuesday's Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Project meeting:
Rev. Gregory Headen (Genesis Baptist Church): "Sometimes you get a feeling that you have been picked out to take history in a different direction -- to introduce a new way of thinking, of solving problems, of dealing with conflict -- all things that the world is crying out for. We here in Greensboro are picked out, in a sense, because something very tragic happened here 25 years ago. And out of that is coming something good."
Yvonne Johnson (Mayor Pro Tem, Greensboro): "The work this Commission has done, is doing, and will do will make such a marked difference in the quality of life in this community, in people's lives who have been wounded by this tragedy. Sometimes, before real healing takes place - I'm thinking of my sister, who is a cancer survivor - you go through a lot of pain to heal. I am 100% committed to this, and will support it. I'm not always able to be here, but my heart is here; my spirit is here."
Former Mayor Carolyn Allen (to college students): "As an old walrus, I want to say that the receptivity to change lies with you. The older you get, no matter how hard you try, you fall into the tyranny of habit. We need you to keep the rest of us aware of change; to bring us into the change process."
Joyce Johnson (to the diverse assembled crowd): "This is Greensboro."
On Tuesday, January 25th, from 11:30-2:00pm and 4:30-7:00pm, there will be an Open House at the offices for the Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The public is invited to meet the Commission and learn about their work. Offices are in the Self-Help Building downtown Greensboro, 122 North Elm St. Suite 810. The office phone is (336) 275-6462. Call first to make sure I got that right.