Samuel Morgan Community Forum
Ideological Passion vs. Principled Pragmatism: Bridging the Racial Divide in Urban America
Saturday, November 14 • 9:00 a.m.-Noon • Unity Church-Unitarian
The United States is at an impasse on race. Its underlying source is conflicting beliefs about what to do about the issue. In this standoff anti-racists are convinced that the key is making white people aware of the effects of slavery, Jim Crow and white privilege. Conservatives argue that individuals are responsible for their own success or failure. Black nationalists conclude that the African-American community must take care of itself. On the radical fringe, racial extremists on both sides of the color line continue to demonize their counterparts. What each of these has in common is that are ideologically driven. Politics really is the art of compromise and ideological passion and pragmatic compromise typically do not go together. There is a way forward for those who are prepared to discipline their ideological passions and look for practical common ground with differing others.
Michael Cowan and James Carter will speak frankly about the challenges and conflicts, as well as the learning and excitement, involved in their ten-year effort to bridge the racial divide in New Orleans. They will describe the outcomes it has produced, ongoing racial tensions as revealed in a current conflict, and some lessons to be drawn from its record. They are eager to engage Minnesota friends in this difficult, timely conversation.
A New Orleans Dinner Event
10 Years Later
Saturday, November 14 • 6:00 p.m. • Parish Hall
Come remember and reflect about Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath of the storm with pilgrims from Unity Church, friends from the Selma 70, and special guests James Carter and Michael Cowan from New Orleans. Music will be provided by the inimitable Rev. Carl Walker (himself a New Orleans pilgrim). Dinner is $15 per person and the menu includes: shrimp and grits, red beans and rice, and Bananas Foster trifle. Register online for dinner. Child care is available by request to email@example.com by November 10.
November 15 • 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 4:30 p.m.
“… he passed by on the other side.” A Reflection on the New Orleans Pilgrims of Unity Church
As New Orleans civic leaders, James Carter and Michael Cowan will interpret the sacred meaning of the bonds of public friendship that have united their city with her sister city at the northern end of the great river that connects us, through the fidelity of the pilgrims of Unity Church.
About Our Weekend Guests
Samuel Huntington Morgan
Samuel Morgan was a man with a vision. A long-time member of Unity Church, he believed that we are responsible for collaborating in the transformation of the world. His passions expressed themselves in tireless commitment to conservation and the preservation of public space including parks and trails. Morgan was the man who envisioned the idea for the land trust, which resulted in the creation of Afton State Park and the preservation of millions of acres of land throughout Minnesota.
Educated at the Saint Paul Academy, Harvard College, and Harvard Law School, he was a man who respected fine scholarship. He made his home in the Twin Cities where he co-founded Briggs and Morgan, which survives him as a well-respected Minnesota law firm .
About the Samuel Morgan Community Forums
In honor of the courage, conviction and passion that Samuel Morgan exemplified in his life, Unity Church–Unitarian has created the Samuel Morgan Community Forums.
Our world is desperate for engaged citizens who are not afraid to commit to the work of generations. By providing opportunities for community leaders to reflect upon their work in Sam Morgan’s name, we hope to inspire members of our community to commit
themselves to the pursuit of transforming the world to a place made more whole.
Through these forums, presenters will envision how the world could be and the actions people can take to make it happen. These forums seek to provide an opportunity for dialogue and conversation on a large scale and in small groups.
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