A Night with BGIM, a chance to talk

I like to talk, I like to talk to people, and I suppose that is why after five years and absolutely not a lick of commercial success, I still enjoy writing in this space.  This space has allowed me to share my thoughts and more importantly learn from others and after five years I am ready to shake things up a bit.

This past week in light of all that happened here in the US with regards to the Trayvon Martin case and finally our commander and chief himself speaking on the matter, my brain has been swirling with possibilities. Many months ago, a reader here in Maine emailed me and asked if I would consider hosting a get together. A chance for local readers of this blog to meet up and connect, I initially thought that seemed rather farfetched, after all what would we talk about? Yet as this space starts to take on a life of its own and is so far removed from the original purpose, it feels like the time is right to actually meet up with people interested in talking about the greater life and societal issues that we are all grappling with and figure out what we can do to create change in our own lives and world.

Admittedly, I juggle many balls on a daily basis. I am still plugging away to keep the organization that I head afloat. I have the usual partner, kids and daily life grind plus a fairly serious yoga practice and I make time to write in this space. I have bounced a lot of possible ideas out over the years (e-book, life coaching for starters, all still works in progress for anyone keeping track) but never been in a place where I could truly give 100% of myself to those projects due to my other life commitments. But an evening of dialogue? That I can do, in some ways I envision groups just getting together to talk yet seeds of change being planted in the course of those exchanges.

The other day on the BGIM facebook page a reader left the comment perhaps it will to be up to the mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunties (women of the world) to rectify these awful injustices….Years ago it was women who initiated MADD (mothers against drunk driving). Driving drunk was once looked at as a wink, nod, pass. Now it is seen for what it is—intolerable—and no longer seen as acceptable behavior by sane people.”  Kate who left this comment may be onto something, if we want change and we want to move beyond, we need to create that change ourselves and be willing to do the heavy work that is part of the change process. I think coming together and allowing ourselves a chance to talk in a safe space is the first step.

I am not sure what shape this dialogue will take and while I am happy to facilitate it and get the ball rolling; it requires participants, so consider yourself invited. For the non-locals, the idea has been floated around of doing this as a Google hangout; this is definitely a possibility in the future. So stay tuned. Right now I am thinking early September and looking for a venue to host this (anyone, anyone) and we will be good to go.  So while we bask in the heat of summer, let us make a date for September to get together for a night with BGIM, a time to talk and reflect.

P.S: For those who don’t follow the BGIM Facebook page, here are some links to a roundtable discussion I participated in last week on raising Black boys in light of the Zimmerman verdict.

13 thoughts on “A Night with BGIM, a chance to talk

  1. I love this idea. Living in VERY rural Maine, my son is exposed to few people of any ethnicity at all. And not to go all Whitney Houston on you or anything, but the children are the future, and in an environment like this, what my 5 yo hears now is really important – we try to make sure he knows that the only basis for judging a person’s character is on their behavior, but when he has (lots) of family that routinely start sentences with “those people” when referring to anyone not white, straight and Christian it could easily become an inadvertent segregation in his mind. I would love to be part of this discussion. If you do this in a physical arena, I’d like to participate – we have some mutual friends = acrimoniousmofo and tokenethnicgirl…make sure they pass the word out on their FB or Twitter feeds, I never have time to check blogs in the summer, and don’t want to miss this.

    1. I think that your concern about ‘those people’ comments is so valid. It seems to be a national issue at this point. From a certain part of this country…EVERYBODY is one of ‘those people’. At least anybody different due to color of skin…sex….sexual orientation…etc.

  2. Excellent. I hope this and many other get togethers happen all over. (The song Get Together by The Youngbloods comes to mind “you hold the key to love and fear…just one key unlocks them both, it’s there at your command”).

    Thanks for the link to the round table discussion- tho it brings me to tears. When I think about people I know having to have “the conversation” with their children, it burns me up.

    Thank you for this space to share.
    I could list many relationships that bridged many differences in life (gender, race, geographic culture etc), but the point is I had the benefit of being in a shared space, getting to know people and forming relationships.
    I don’t patently fear young men who happen to be black. 6-12 grade I sat in classes next to young men named Carlos, Ted, Carl and Greg among others who happened to be black (and we are Facebook friends all these years later).

  3. Shay, I love this idea and I’ve had similar thoughts about hosting discussions regarding racism and privilege, too. I would very much like to be a part of this.

  4. I will keep everyone posted, right now I am looking for a suitable venue in southern Maine. I have had a few offers of using a private home but I am not sure how well that works for people’s comfort levels. Any thoughts or inputs will be greatly welcomed.

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