New Ulm Forward responds to hate letter

To the editor:

When a person in New Ulm receives hate mail, the citizens of New Ulm should respond. A hate letter does not define our community, but what does it say about our community? How should we respond?

New Ulm Forward began May 2018 following a community forum on race September 2017. We are a group of 15 community members that meet to talk about race.

New Ulm Forward’s mission is to create a healthy community by accepting diversity and recognizing the unique differences of people. We believe we can bring the best of New Ulm forward by providing a level of understanding so that all people are welcomed in our community, schools, and work places.

New Ulm as a community should respond to hate letters by becoming more culturally aware. Cultural awareness begins with the ability to be self-aware of our own culture and how it affects our perceptions. We value diversity by letting go of the idea that our view of the world is the only one that is normal. We lean in and listen and learn so that we understand that a community is made up of many cultural beings and they deserve to be honored and respected. Once we understand the limits of our knowledge and adapt that knowledge to an environment different from the one in which it was learned, we begin to lead with cultural competence.

New Ulm has the opportunity to welcome to all people by listening deeply and seeking to understand what we do not know. When we respond honestly, we speak our truth and we respect the truth of others. We gain a level of understanding that is built on a foundation of collaboration and cooperation, and with compassion and struggle, together we create a healthy community.

New Ulm Forward is planning a Family Table on Feb. 25 at 6:15 p.m. We invite community members to join us for a time of listening, a time of learning, a time for welcome and understanding. If you would like more information about Family Table or are interested in joining New Ulm Forward, please contact us newulmforward@gmail.com

Sue Kimmel

Katie Dorschner

Mindy Kimmel

Heather Havemeier

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