On Wednesday, July 20, greater Idyllwild residents will gather again to discuss community values in Idyllwild, how they may be threatened by recent hate crimes and graffiti attacks, and what can be done to address these incidents and their underlying causes. Discussion will also explore how to foster and promote tolerance among the various groups that comprise this community.

Community Dialogue

  • Led by James Williams III, Dept. of Justice Community Relations Service
  • WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 20
  • WHERE: Idyllwild School Multipurpose Room

This will be the third meeting, and as was the case with the two previous, James Williams III, a conciliation specialist with Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service, will facilitate. He will be joined by a core group of local organizers who have been meeting since September to discuss what steps to take to deal with local hate crime incidents. The two previous community dialogue meetings, on June 12 and June 23, were well attended and distinguished by the willingness of participants to discuss their experience with stereotyping, judgmental behavior, bigotry and intolerance, both in and outside of Idyllwild.

A key component of these meetings is diagnosis — to help uncover what is currently fomenting intolerance and anti-social behavior in this community and what we, as a community are willing to do to bridge the divisions and stem the behavior. Everyone who attended either of the two previous meetings was asked to bring a friend or friends. Newcomers are welcome as the process grows.

The last session produced a number of possible future action steps. The following are provided as examples only, as they have not been agreed to or adopted by the group: create a community mentoring program for at-risk children; create a neighborhood watch; define Idyllwild as a community of tolerance; step up diversity education; reach out to cultural and lifestyle differences; create support systems for parents of troubled kids; expand inclusive conversations, with potlucks, throughout the community. Succeeding meetings will pare those down and may add additional action step elements.

The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 20, at Idyllwild School’s multi-purpose room just off the front entrance. It will not be, as previously announced, a potluck, for reasons of economy of time. Subsequent meetings may feature potlucks, as many participants have requested.