Tuscaloosa Community Healing, Unity, and Reconciliation
In 2016 the Tuscaloosa Civil Rights History Task Force (TCRHTF) was created to bring about positive change and reconciliation through collecting, preserving, and telling the stories of the important struggle for civil rights in Tuscaloosa. As part of fulfilling that mission the Reconciliation Leadership Team (RLT) was organized and a community reconciliation initiative was begun. This initiative, led by the RLT, is an approximate 15 month process launched in March of 2018 under the guidance of Dr. Jennifer Stollman with J.A. Stollman Consulting, LLC.
A diverse group of local individuals have been trained to serve as facilitators in this reconciliation process using a model called The Mosaic Process. The Mosaic Process aims to provide racial reconciliation through historical and contemporary awareness. It relies on effective community trust building by adopting a self-reflective approach. The facilitators have been guiding four groups of diverse community members sorted into discreet reconciliation circles (10-15 people) that have been meeting monthly since July of 2018.
The purpose of the Mosaic Process is:
- To build a strong and trusting community that is able to navigate racial conflict and events
- To educate the community on racial history and the impact of racism
- To bring about tangible, sustainable, positive change in the community that leads to further change
There are four phases to the Mosaic Process:
Phase I: Building Trust (July to October 2018)
Participants use a series of exercises to:
- get to know each one another beyond perception and appearance
- tell and hear individual stories
- contrast perspective
- appreciate experiences
Phase II: Strengthening Community (November 2018 to January 2019)
Through further monthly meetings and a 2 ½ day retreat participants learn:
- what caused initial racial fractures and the circumstances in which they became solidified, normalized, and even rendered invisible
- about implied and explicit forms of political and cultural bias, inequity, and injustice
- our intentions and our impact as we communicate about differences in perspectives and life experiences
- how to navigate and minimize interpersonal bias
- how to identify and respond to institutional and infrastructure inequity
Phase III: Community Analysis and Interventional Planning (November 2018 to February 2019)
- identify which breaks in our community have caused the most damage
- conduct community analysis to determine which problems to address
- develop a detailed plan for realizing a project that contributes to the reconciliation and advancement of the community
Phase IV: Project Development and Execution (January 2019 to June 2019)
- each reconciliation circle will develop and execute a community project addressing a problem created or impacted by race
- In May/June, 2019 there will be a community-wide function with unveiling and launch of the community projects
In the summer of 2019 facilitator training will be provided to all interested circle participants so that another iteration of The Mosaic Process can be launched in late 2019 or early 2020 and the process of racial reconciliation in our community can continue.
If you would like more information about the reconciliation initiative, please contact Mr. John Cormier at (205) 792-2972 or Ms. Theresa Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.