What Do We Remember? Where Do We Go?: Marking 9/11 Public Discussion

CCR had two major partners in the "Marking the Day: The Tenth Anniversary of 9/11" community conversations -- the Illinois Humanities Council and WBEZ. The Illinois Humanities Council is a private, non-profit organization that organizes and provides funding for humanities-based activities across Illinois. WBEZ is a publicly funded Chicago radio station that provides a wide array of programming - including news, human interest, and pop culture - to helps listeners learn about community, national, and world issues.

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I felt like today, this morning, was just an essential thing of what it means to be an American - to be able to gather together and reflect on something; how each of us have different identities, but also can come around an issue and discuss it.

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--Ted Gibbs, "Tenth Anniversary of 9/11" Discussion Participant

Serve Illinois Commission

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As an educator, this conversation has affirmed for me the essential role of education in achieving the promise of America.

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--Julie Bass, "Tenth Anniversary of 9/11" Discussion Participant

Mikva Challenge

Audience Focus

24 leaders from a wide range of civic and community organizations throughout Chicago.

Goals

  1. Strengthen connections between civic and community organizations throughout Chicago.
  2. Help participants explore what it means to be American -- and where 9/11 fits in.
  3. Increase civic and community leaders' commitment to democratic dialogue.
Community and civic leaders sit in circle and look at image for Marking 9/11 public discussion

Project Description

Facilitated by the Center for Civic Reflection and co-produced by the Illinois Humanities Council and WBEZ, Marking the Day: The Tenth Anniversary of 9/11 brought community and civic leaders from across Chicago together to discuss the meaning and impact of 9/11. The discussion was organized to explore how we ought to remember the day - what should we remember? How should we act?

During the discussion, participants looked at two images, "2nd Lt. James L. Cathey" and "Young People on the Brooklyn Waterfront on September 11", as a means into these questions. In addition to the images, participants discussed one poem, "September Songs: A Poem in Seven Days" by Lucille Clifton. With the discussion centered on these objects, a variety of interpretations, reactions, and perspectives were offered on the legacy of 9/11 and how we should act moving forward.

Impact

  1. Survey respondents reported that the discussion helped them to think deeply about the meaning of 9/11.
  2. Survey respondents reported a deeper understanding among community members and respect for various perspectives.
  3. Survey respondents reported that the discussion helped them to clarify individual beliefs and values.

Tags

democratic dialoguepublic programscivic and community leaders

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