Mayor Tim Mahoney joins in on discussion of race, diversity and tolerance in Fargo
Sunday evening marks the fourth Ubuntu Racial Dialogue in South Fargo
FARGO, N.D. — The Ubuntu Racial Dialogues were inspired by Fargo’s protest following George Floyd’s death.
Joseph Lewis, a recent MSUM graduate and the one who created the recurring event, says although protesting is a powerful way to have your voice heard, sitting down with one another and having a conversation is just as effective, if not more so.
The first Ubuntu Racial Dialogue began around a bonfire in South Fargo back in June.
People of all backgrounds and walks of life both share and listen to each others’ experiences of racial prejudice in our community.
“The Ubuntu Racial Dialogue has been one that brings people who have big ideas and different visions and aspirations for the community, puts it into one space where we can cross examine and say, ‘Hey, this is good for our community. It’s good for me as a Black person, it’s good for you as a white person, it’s good for my next door neighbor,'” explained Lewis.
Soon enough, the conversation evolved from neighbors speaking about bettering the F-M area to include officers of the Fargo Police Department in the conversations.
Now, the Ubuntu Racial Dialogue has grown even bigger, with Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney joining in on the discussion Sunday evening.
He says his role is to listen intently to what the community’s needs are.
“I love to listen,” said Mahoney. “I love to listen, and I brought a notebook to take notes, so I’m hoping that people will have good dialogue and kind of tell me what they’re thinking and what’s going on, and I can always learn. I think Fargo’s a fantastic place to live. I want everybody to be happy here, and however we can make that improve and do better.”
Sunday’s gathering is in honor of former Georgia Rep. and civil rights pioneer John Lewis. The topic of discussion is justice.
Community members express what justice means to them and how they can be champions of justice in their own ways.
[Joseph] Lewis tells me although the conversations are continuously growing, this is only the beginning.
He says he hopes all politicians across the metro can join in and that tangible policy changes can be made to better serve everyone in our community.