Reflection on the Racial Ethnic Dialog
By Eveline Steele
The PW racial ethnic dialog is a place where racial ethnic women leaders come together to learn of and share their culture and struggles; meet people; make contacts; and share faith stories.
It brings hope that we can overcome hardships or that we can help our sisters in similar situations. Meeting in the various cultural contexts is a highlight as we share traditional meals, and meet people in the community, an opportunity to network. That was how many of us met and learned about Margaret Aymer who was our tour guide at the Interdenominational Theological Center. She preached at the 2009 Churchwide Gathering and is the author of the 2011–2012 Horizons Bible study, Confessing the Beatitudes. As the ideas from the dialog are developed and implemented, we have resources—both people (participants or people they know who can be speakers, writers, artists, etc.) and materials (identified and promoted, or developed).
Recognizing that issues are varied and real, we need to keep sharing them when we come together. We also need to understand that some are cultural issues and need to be addressed from that perspective. We are still in a learning stage. The dialog provides some of these links to understand how to work and help each other as women of color. To dialog as racial ethnic women is one important way to network, make and maintain friendships across the country that support women going through the same things.
On a personal note, I’ve met women who have become incredible friends. With their prayers, dialog and support, these friends have carried me and my family through a difficult time. It is through the dialog that I have made these contacts.
Eveline Steele was a participant of the 2006–2009 PW Racial Ethnic Dialog.