Skip to main content

For more information, please contact

Michael Shermis
Special Projects Coordinator
Department of Community and Family Resources
812-349-3471; and

Elizabeth Gray
Adult Audience Strategist
Monroe County Public Library

Courageous Connections Offers Workshop and Forum to Promote Community Dialogue

Bloomington, Ind. - Courageous Connections, a project designed to create meaningful dialogue for communities through an exploration of shared humanity despite cultural, social, and political differences, takes place in Bloomington August 10 - 13.  Courageous Connections is a presentation of the Nonviolent Civic Engagement Initiative (NCEI) in collaboration with the Bloomington Center for Connection (BCC).

The centerpiece of the weekend is the two-day Relational-Cultural Theory Summit, which begins with the lecture, “Power Redefined: Disruptive Empathy as a Tool for Liberation,” by psychologist, educator, and writer Dr. Maureen Walker, Friday, August 10  from 7 - 9 p.m at the Showers Building City Hall Council Chambers, 401 N. Morton Street. The summit will continue in the same location on Saturday, August 11 from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. with a workshop designed to take an in-depth approach to such issues as generational differences in social justice advocacy, civility and the politics of respectability, and the opioid crisis.  Registration for the summit is encouraged at the following link:

Courageous Connections continues with the interactive public forum “Purposeful Encounters Initiating Civil Dialogue” led by Daryl Davis, Monday, August 13, from 3:30 - 5:00 pm at the Monroe County Public Library (MCPL), 303 E. Kirkwood Avenue, rooms 1B and 1C. Davis, an African-American musician and author, was the subject of the documentary Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race & America.  The film charted his travels across the country, during which he made connections with Ku Klux Klan members, over 200 of whom left the group as a result, giving him their robes and artifacts.  The forum will feature a video presentation, a discussion with Davis, and a workshop on building relationships and engaging in conversations despite differences.

Registration is not required for the forum, although preferred seating will be given to middle school and high school age students. Sponsors for the Davis forum are MCPL, the Indiana University Political and Civic Engagement Program, the City of Bloomington's Community and Family Resources Department, and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration Commission.

A partnership among City, university, and community entities, NCEI is a resource that fosters dialogue and teaches groups techniques for advocacy and activism, based on Dr. King Jr.’s Six Steps to Nonviolent Social Change.  BCC is an organization that offers therapeutic services, community groups, and educational programs to promote connections and lower cultural barriers to effect social change.