From the Director’s Desk: Coming Together, Thinking Anew, Bridging Intergenerational Gaps

By Gabriel McMorland

For forty-five years, the Thomas Merton Center has served as a resource hub for grassroots activists. In 2018, how do you think we can make more meaningful contributions to justice movements locally and globally? TMC has always worked within larger social movements, and we deeply value listening to your perspectives.

If you only have thirty seconds, please click on a quick survey about possible TMC 2018 events to build skills, knowledge, and community. We want to offer skills trainings, opportunities for education and discussion, and social spaces for building relationships. (https://www.thomasmertoncenter.org/survey)

As always, I welcome deeper conversations with NewPeople readers and TMC members. If you have time, I would love to know your thoughts on the questions I’m contemplating this year.

What work can TMC do that makes the strongest contributions towards peace and justice movements? In other words, what unique contributions do we bring to various movements and campaigns?

How can our work build power for the marginalized communities most impacted by the issues we’re focusing on?

Whom should we approach as possible facilitators or educators for events in 2018? We’re challenging ourselves to look beyond the familiar faces usually asked to lead workshops, and to prioritize people of color as presenters.

Lastly, how can we build intergenerational bridges connecting honest lessons learned from our forty-five-year history with the urgent demands to create a better future today? As our 2017 Thomas Merton Awardee Vince Warren said, “One day thirty years from now, somebody’s going to look at me and say, ‘Hey, it’s not 2017 anymore.’” Personally, I hope that in 2045 I’m still eagerly learning from the diverse experiences of others around me. I don’t expect we’ll answer these questions perfectly today, or even this year, but I know we can’t do it without you. Many thanks and contact me any time at gabriel@thomasmertoncenter.org.

Gabriel McMorland is Executive Director of the Thomas Merton Center.

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