THROUGH A.J.’s EYES
a retired Ohio judge and advocate for educational equity turned WinC volunteer
Quoted by the Dayton Daily News as “the strongest voice on the state school board”, we now have the privilege of adding his voice to the work we do. He’s eager to share what he sees.
These are the people who work at World in Conversation (WinC). A few items of note:
First, these are, almost all, students. WinC is a student-driven organization. These undergraduates create substantive, meaningful dialogues with other students and with individuals from more than a dozen countries. These conversations add up to a more peaceful world. Not a world without conflict, because conflict will always exist in a diverse world. Not a world without differences; they make no attempt to erase the differences that make an individual, well, individual. Not a world of conformity, but a world of understanding, compassion, and cooperation.
These young adults produce wisdom well beyond their years by posing questions on life’s most serious issues and listening to the differences between individuals, races, ethnicities, and cultures. More importantly, they produce discussions that encourage acceptance of difference and lay the seeds for collaboration.
Second, notice the diversity of these folks. Race, gender, ethnicity, and culture may be obvious, but there are also differences in opinion, politic, and life experience that make each of them a part of this beautiful mosaic. Participants in WinC dialogues know little more about these facilitators than this picture shows – because of training and practice of facilitation. Their temporary position of neutrality during dialogue allows them to assure participants that they are not being judged. It is the job of the facilitator to take up participants’ sides and assure that every voice is heard in the conversation.
World in Conversation is not intended to create conformity or to eliminate conflict. It is intended to create a world in collaboration and understanding that eliminates any need for violence and confrontation. WinC believes that understanding each other takes us on a path to empathy and peace.