Local organizations offer listening booths for open discussion

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Saturday afternoon, the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center in Ocean Springs joined with 100 Women DBA and the Walter Anderson Museum of Art to provide listening booths for open discussions about race and the state of the nation.

Designated listeners sat at one end of the six foot picnic tables while the speakers sat at the other end to ensure everyone’s safety.

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For Juneteenth, 100 Women DBA put on a march and rally at the Hancock County Courthouse. However, Rachel Dangermond, the director of 100 Men Hall, felt the community needed another way to respond to the nation’s unrest. “We also wanted to look at healing. And we just have to acknowledge that we all are suffering from this, white people, black people, we all are suffering from this racism. And so the healing booths were a way for people to just get off their chests what’s been weighing them down. And it’s just a place to open the conversation.”

Participant Austin Baldwin said, “I think that it’s important for us to come out together, have honest conversations with each other without the pressures of Facebook and all the antagonism that’s going on left and right on Facebook. I think, also, another thing that’s important with these kind of, especially these in-person discussions, is having the ability to really understand someone’s tone, where someone’s getting at, when you’re not just reading words.”

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