The Human Family Reunion
Tuesday, December 10, 2019 from 6-8:30 p.m.
Precious Blood Renewal Center in Liberty, Mo.
By Ed Chasteen
I taught Race and Ethnic Relations every fall and Cultural Anthropology every spring at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, for many years beginning in the mid-1960s. My students would spend 15 weeks studying and working in the various and varied communities that live, work and worship in the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan Area.
As their work wound down, each class invited the folks they had met and worked with to join all of us for a celebration that we called the Human Family Reunion. It was a celebration of our diversity and a celebration of the great value we bring to our life as community.
I gave up full-time teaching after many years to devote all my time to projects begun in these classes, grouped together into a 501(c)3 non-profit called HateBusters, headquartered here in Liberty.
Red and Yellow, Black, Brown and White
Christian, Buddhist and Jew
Hindu, Baha’i, Sikh and Muslim, too
All* are precious in our sight
*including faiths not named
On a map, I drew a circle with Liberty at its center going out 125 miles (Why 125 miles? That’s how far I can ride a bicycle in one day.) The circle extends north to Creston, Iowa, and south to Carthage, Missouri; west to Manhattan, Kansas, and east to Columbia, Missouri, 105 counties in parts of four states, about three million people.
I call this circle Greater Liberty.
People from all over the world live here. We are neighbors, close enough together to be in each other’s presence in a short time. With Liberty at the heart of our place on the planet, it is to Liberty we want to invite people to the latest edition of the Human Family Reunion.
Our next Human Family Reunion is to be held at Precious Blood Renewal Center here in Liberty on the evening of Tuesday, December 10, 2019 from 6:00 -8:30, dinner included.
To register, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyone who lives, works and or worships in Greater Liberty is invited. We hope you join us to meet and learn from neighbors you didn’t know you had. If you want to join us, send your name and contact information to me at email@example.com. I will pair you up with another person who has submitted her or his name. I will send a set of questions to you both, questions that you and your partner will answer. You can meet in person, over the phone or exchange emails.
Using the information obtained, write the story of your person and come to our Human Family Reunion to speak for three minutes as your person, introducing that person to all those gathered for the Human Family Reunion. On that evening Dec. 10, we will explore what we’ve learned from each other and what that experience meant.
Who is right is the wrong question at our Human Family Reunion. How we can be good neighbors is our sole/soul agenda this night. Never a discouraging word. And maybe, just maybe, our presence at the Human Family Reunion may help shape that discussion and take it to a higher plane.
If that option doesn’t appeal to you, I have two other options you can complete and still join us for the reunion.
Option 1. Pair up with a person and interview him/her and be interviewed by him/her. (As described above.)
Option 2. Read a book from a list I provide. Using that book to guide your thinking, explain what you would do about housing, jobs, education, health care and climate change. Then come to our Human Family Reunion to explain your plans in three minutes.
Option 3. Let me enroll you for free in Sapphire College, a virtual school of higher learning that I invented. The curriculum of Sapphire College aims at your becoming a “World Class Person.” You read two short books, both of which I wrote: Phillip of Sapphire College: A Fairy Tale How to Guide and How to Like People Who Are Not Like You. I give free online copies. After you have read both books, write down the vision you get from their combination. Then come to our Human Family Reunion to speak for three minutes.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and commit to one of these plans. I will reserve your place at our Human Family Reunion.