Community dialogue making progress

On Wednesday evening, July 20, more than 30 people returned to Idyllwild School to discuss the community’s capability for tolerance and actions to further it.

This session identified three actions that will be discussed further at the next meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 10. Two are specific steps that people could begin to implement and the third is a continuation of the dialogue to inform others of the local hate crimes and graffiti attacks that prompted this communal response.

Another showing of the documentary, “Paper Clips,” which is about a Tennessee school and community’s reaction to the holocaust, is being planned. Also, a short menu of other films and documentaries, which would encourage tolerance and community acceptance of diversity — in all of its manifestations — will be developed to encourage the continuing dialogue among community members.

While one person observed that the attendance did not demonstrate a lot of diversity, another replied that getting out of one’s comfort zone requires some effort.

While some view Idyllwild as a refuge from discrimination and prejudice, one person said, “There are issues among the people here.” This led the discussion in the direction of actions.

One of the attendees had researched “neighborhood watch” programs and identified five steps, beginning with recruitment and organization and including a phone tree.

Another action or effort, which seemed to resonate with several attendees, was the idea of creating a family mentoring program, which would assist adults — primarily parents or grandparents — with issues dealing with children and teens.

Other steps that might bring the community more together include a potluck, a resource center and personal involvement with troubled teens.

Continuing the dialogue within the community and the neighborhood and family mentoring will be topics specifically set aside for those interested in more information and pursuing them at the next meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 10 in the multi-purpose room of Idyllwild School.