What MWBG means in my life
Rhonda Bellamy Hodge, Member
How many of us have been in meetings, symposiums, conferences, or maybe even an impromptu gatherings of people who “say” we want to do “something” about the race, religion, immigration, sexism, gender, poverty, discrimination, or any of a myriad of society’s problems? We leave excited and pumped up with perhaps a few numbers typed into our phone or scribbled on scraps of paper. And if we’re really lucky, we clutch a coveted business card, hopeful that this time will be different.
In March of 2017, I attended a joint initiative between the Dallas Morning News and the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. It was the culmination of a project called, “Questions of Color.” The gathering was an array of people, many with shared stores of personal experiences of racial injustices and discrimination. Additionally, I sensed there was a genuine desire by some to want to do “something” on a personal level to try to bridge the many gaps within our own environments.
At the end of the meeting, there was a seemingly natural graviton of a group of women obviously moved by the conversations but also by the desire to put our hopes for change and increased mutual understanding between women of different races, ages, careers, and socioeconomic levels into tangible actions. We were excited and did not want to let it pass as we returned to our separate lives, perhaps with our paths never crossing again. A sign-up sheet was passed around for those interested in continuing the conversations in some ways or another. Happily I signed up, hopeful that this time would be different. That we would make connections and begin to be active participants in making our lives and our communities better by forming meaningful relationships with women who perhaps we might not necessarily be in relationships with in “normal” situations.
Since the initial meeting of the Multicultural Women’s Book Group (MWBG), I’ve been pleased with our efforts to make this a group we are all proud of. From the book selections, to the interactive exercises, to the food fare — which often compliments the theme of the book, to the open and honest discussions, our gatherings are one of the highlights of my month.
Oftentimes, many of us want to live in greater understanding of other cultures, traditions, and circumstances our fellow sojourners are on. But we don’t know what to do. I say start where you are and seek out others with similar interests. With the added caveat being those who don’t necessarily look like you, are the same age, career, religious/spiritual background, etc.. The richness to be gained is immeasurable. The MWBG is an amazing example of what can be possible when we open ourselves up to new learning and life experiences, traveling along the paths of a variety of authors by which my desire to continue to be a lifelong learner is constantly enhanced.
Get in touch with us through our website and we’ll be happy to share our experiences and help you start your own group!