“It’s good to see you.”
The July 2013 verdict that found George Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder charges in the lethal shooting of Trayvon Martin, raised critical questions about the American legal system and the historical and systemic injustices plaguing communities of color. The outcry demanded a response from political, civic, religious and intellectual leaders. For Dr. Gregory C. Ellison, II, the tensions that resulted from the Zimmerman trial pointed to a fundamental need—the need for transformative dialogue that embraces difference, cultivates hope, and leads to change. Three weeks following the Zimmerman verdict, over three hundred unlikely partners from all walks of life gathered at Emory University for the inaugural Fearless Dialogues community conversation. A time of deep tension, pain and uncertainty birthed Fearless Dialogues—a new movement for justice.
We Create Unique Spaces For Hard, Heartfelt Conversations.
We hope to interrupt cycles of marginalization, and to foster strong communities for the common good, by creating spaces for unlikely relationships to change the way people see themselves and the world in which they live.
In "The Laboratory of Discovery" participants conduct "theory-based experiments" created to help people SEE people who are often invisible, HEAR that which is often ignored, toward the goal of sustainable CHANGE.
At Fearless Dialogues - animators (not facilitators) bring to life interactive sessions which guide participants down the hardest road humans ever take from our heads to our hearts.
Most importantly, our teaching does not shame or blame people. We meet them where they are and build from there.
ONCE YOU SEE, YOU CANNOT NOT SEE
How is it possible to have Dialogues that are Fearless?
We conceive "fearless" as a compound word ("fear+less") and not as a root word and suffix ("fear -less"). In the latter, the suffix "-less" implies being without fear. However, in the compound form, "less" connotes a smaller extent. We believe in a uniquely structured environment where fears are acknowledged, unlikely partners can take courage, fear+less and engage in hard, heartfelt conversation.
When we stop to SEE the gifts in people often ignored
We can slow down to HEAR the value in their stories and suggestions
Which gives us the green light toward CHANGE that is sustainable
Thought leader, speaker and author.
GREGORY C. ELLISON II, PH.D.
An Atlanta native, Ellison is associate professor of pastoral care and counseling at Emory University's Candler School of Theology. He earned his undergraduate degree from Emory, and holds M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees in pastoral theology from Princeton Theological Seminary. Ellison is author of Fearless Dialogues: A New Movement for Justice and Cut Dead But Still Alive: Caring for African American Young Men and founder of GE II & Associates and Fearless Dialogues.