Chicago native Michael Fosberg has spoken at nearly a thousand high schools, colleges, government agencies, corporations, law firms and not-for-profits since 2005, utilizing his award winning autobiographical story, told in the form of a one-man play, as an entry point for meaningful dialogues on race and identity.
He has collaborated with a number of professional diversity practitioners on programs to foster deeper dialogue in corporate settings and at educational institutions. His work with groups such as; The Boeing Company, United Way Worldwide, PNC Financial Services, Proctor & Gamble, The U.S. Dept. of the Treasury, and The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency is reshaping the way organizations talk about race, identity and diversity.
Michael has been a frequent guest in the media speaking on these issues, and his latest book, Nobody Wants to Talk About It; Race, Identity and the Difficulties in Forging Meaningful Conversations offers readers seven important tools to engage in authentic dialogue. In 2011 he published his memoir; Incognito: An American Odyssey of Race and Self-Discovery and he has just launched a series of unique virtual e-learning programs utilizing his award-winning play as the entry point for delving into uncomfortable conversations.
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Missio Alliance Comment Policy
The Missio Alliance Writing Collectives exist as a ministry of writing to resource theological practitioners for mission. From our Leading Voices to our regular Writing Team and those invited to publish with us as Community Voices, we are creating a space for thoughtful engagement of critical issues and questions facing the North American Church in God’s mission. This sort of thoughtful engagement is something that we seek to engender not only in our publishing, but in conversations that unfold as a result in the comment section of our articles.
Unfortunately, because of the relational distance introduced by online communication, “thoughtful engagement” and “comment sections” seldom go hand in hand. At the same time, censorship of comments by those who disagree with points made by authors, whose anger or limited perspective taints their words, or who simply feel the need to express their own opinion on a topic without any meaningful engagement with the article or comment in question can mask an important window into the true state of Christian discourse. As such, Missio Alliance sets forth the following suggestions for those who wish to engage in conversation around our writing:
1. Seek to understand the author’s intent.
If you disagree with something the an author said, consider framing your response as, “I hear you as saying _________. Am I understanding you correctly? If so, here’s why I disagree. _____________.
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We deeply desire and value the voice and perspective of our readers. However you may react to an article we publish or a fellow commenter, we encourage you to set forth that reaction is the most constructive way possible. Use your voice and perspective to move conversation forward rather than shut it down.
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One of our favorite tenants is that “an enemy is someone whose story we haven’t heard.” Very often disagreements and rants are the result of people talking past rather than to one another. Everyone’s perspective is intimately bound up with their own stories – their contexts and experiences. We encourage you to couch your comments in whatever aspect of your own story might help others understand where you are coming from.
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