Race, Equity & American Identity – US South Trip Information Session

Hello SV2 Partners! I am delighted to invite you to join me, Paru Desai, in an immersive learning journey through the U.S. South this fall! Our country has never felt more divided and the challenges are so overwhelming and many that sometimes it’s hard to know how to make sense of it all. One place to start is by getting to a truer telling of our American history and digging deeper into competing narratives to better understand our current realities, especially around race.

Many of you know that I went on this trip in 2018 and was in the process of planning an SV2 trip when the pandemic hit. This was one of the most rewarding, intensive and eye-opening learning experiences I’ve ever had and I can’t wait to do it again with a group of SV2 Partners.

Our trip will start in New Orleans, which sits at the brackish waters of the Mississippi Delta, where so many threads of the American narrative converge: from the indigenous people uprooted from the lands, colonists escaping persecution elsewhere, to the growth of the brutal slave trade—themes now directly colliding with a rapidly evolving environment. We’ll wind our way through ground zero of the Civil Rights Movement, and in Jackson engage with leaders in the current struggle for equality and equity. We’ll make our way to Selma, diving more deeply into current approaches to confront systemic racism. Finally, we’ll conclude with a series of immersive experiences and conversations in Montgomery, home to the National Memorial on Peace & Justice – all the while asking deeper questions around what our role is in pushing through long overdue structural change. We will have a local leader guide and facilitate discussions throughout the trip and we will also have some pre-trip prep materials.

The strength of this trip is that Telos has built up ethical, trust-based relationships so that we can learn from and engage with a variety of community leaders, activists, and local change agents. If you’ve been on any of our Get Proximate experiences you will understand what this means and how much it impacts learning.

The trip dates are October 19 (New Orleans) – October 26 (Montgomery). Please join us for an information session for a trip overview and early itinerary which will be customized for SV2. The session will be led by Greg Khalil and Ainka Jackson on Friday, May 6 from 2-3 pm. Greg is the co-founder of Telos, an organization that seeks to equip change makers to reconcile seemingly intractable conflicts; Ainka is founding ED of the Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth and Reconciliation.

RSVP here for the information session; it will also be recorded if you are unable to join. Please note that this is a Partner-led event so please direct any questions or inquiries to me and not to staff. This first trip is for SV2 Partners only; we will explore expanding to others in future trips.


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