The need for “community healers,” people who facilitate understanding and listening

Latest in a series of posts in the wake of the George Floyd murder

“She’s telling us how to run our country. How did you do where you came from? How’s your country doing? She’s going to tell us — she’s telling us how to run our country.”
A high-level person whom we all know


Guillermo Lopez

“Courageous Conversations,” Bethlehem Area Public Library. September 29, 2020
mins. 1:19:30-1:24:44

After that last post about the ugly treatment of peaceful protestors in our state (shots fired, “n—s suck”), Gadfly’s mind went to the words of Guillermo Lopez during Tuesday’s BAPL “Courageous Conversation” about the need for “community healers.” So wise, so true, feels the Gadfly. Many thoughtful things were said during the “conversation,” and Gadfly hopes to return to them. But the need for community healers seemed so right with the bitter after-taste of those actions by our fellow Pennsylvanians still in his mouth. Gadfly looks forward to such conversations in the Community Engagement Initiative as we participate in the national reckoning with race, and he looks forward to perhaps, just perhaps, some fruitful local action on the other side of the conversations.

  • A lot of the work that I have done over the past 30 years is figuring out how that we work with opposing views.
  • And found that now we have a vacuum.
  • We have good people like us that are silenced or frozen and we’re not taking up the space in the conversations in our society that helps move this forward.
  • I think that what’s happening now is a lot of shouting of pain at each other and somewhere some of us have to stand there and listen to the pain without taking it personal.
  • I think that there has to be a place where we create people that I’ll call community healers, people that facilitate healing to understand and listening to understand.
  • I think I’ve also learned that until someone is noticing that I’m willing to listen to their pain at some point they’re willing to listen to mine.
  • There has to be a place that some of us have to step up and be facilitators of understanding, healing, and once we have that going, we can have deeper discussions of why we’ve gotten to where we are.
  • I’m looking forward to when [Courageous Conversations] become normal conversations.

Next BAPL “Courageous Conversation” Oct. 27
register here

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