A group of 24 leaders from a wide range of civic and community organizations around Chicago gathered in WBEZ's Jim and Kay Mabie Performance Studio on Monday for an in-depth discussion about the meaning of 9/11, now and going forward.
Facilitated by Kelli Covey and Adam Davis of the Center for Civic Reflection (formerly known as the Project on Civic Reflection), the event was a co-production of the Center for Civic Reflection, the Illinois Humanities Council and WBEZ.
Though the event was titled "Marking the Day," this particular gathering was organized not so much to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks as to explore how we ought to mark it: What should we remember? How should we act?
The participants represented a wide range of racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds.
"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," said Ted Gibbs of the Serve Illinois Commission.
The conversation began by having the participants reflect on three sequential objects - two photos (at left) and a poem. To read excerpts of the poem, "September Songs: A Poem in Seven Days" by Lucille Clifton, click here.
"Marking the Day" aimed to strengthen the connections between communities, deepen understanding, and increase commitment to the democratic practice of listening to, and talking with, one another about the difficult issues and questions that define our times.
"As an educator, this conversation has affirmed for me the essential role of education in achieving the promise of America," said Jill Bass of the Mikva Challenge.
To hear the complete conversation click the audio link at the top of the page.
Participants in the Marking the Day conversation included:
Becca Berstein, Center for Civic Reflection
Geoffrey Banks, Illinois Humanities Council
Jill Bass, Mikva Challenge
Ralph Cintron, Latin American and Latino Studies, UIC
Ted Gibbs, Serve Illinois Commission
Adam Green, University of Chicago
Andrea Jett, McCormick Foundation
Jackie Kaplan, Avodah Chicago
Mallory Laurel, Illinois Humanities Council
Rabbi David Levinsky, Chicago Sinai Congregation
Hal Lewis, Spertus Institute
Anita Luk, Chinese American Museum of Chicago
Hind Makki, Inter-Faith Youth Core
Howard Rosing, DePaul University
Suzanne Ross, Raven Foundation
Rebeccah Sanders, Chicago Cultural Alliance
Jon Schmidt, Chicago Public Schools
Rev. Joyce Shin, Fourth Presbyterian Church
John Sirek, McCormick Foundation
Laura Washington, Chicago Sun Times & ABC 7 Chicago
Jeff Weissglass, Political Bridge-Building Consultant
Kristina Valaitis, Illinois Humanities Council