Neighbors Briefs

Posted: Wednesday, March 06, 2002

Tolerance in the aftermath of Sept. 11

A program of thoughtful discussion on "Tolerance, Unity, Compassion and Justice" will be March 9 at 7 p.m. at Northern Light United Church. The evening will include opening remarks by Dr. Brian Goldberg of the Anti-Defamation League and a panel discussion moderated by Keith Levy, a Juneau lawyer and moderator.

Joining Dr. Goldberg on the panel will be Willie Anderson, Union Representative for the National Education Association; Alexander Dolitsky, director of the Alaska-Siberia Research Center; Lorenzo Jaravata Jr., public relations officer for the Filipino Community and Dr. Joyce Shales, educator and multicultural specialist for the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development.

The discussion will focus on responsible leadership and respect for diversity in our community. Encouraging open-mindedness and listening, the panelists will respond to questions about tolerance in the aftermath of Sept. 11. People will have the opportunity to learn more about how others are adjusting to our continuously changing world, and leave with ideas for improving communication across community groups.

The evening is free of charge and is hosted by the Juneau Jewish Community. For more information, please call 463-4333.

Alaska Masonic leader visits Southeast lodges

Stephen Cox of Fairbanks was elected as Grand Master of Masons in Alaska at the annual statewide meeting held in early February in Anchorage.

His extensive travel schedule includes visitation with Panhandle Masonic lodges in March.

He will be accompanied by several senior Masonic leaders as he meets with members of Mt. Juneau/Gastineaux Lodge No. 21 on March 11 in the Juneau Scottish Rite Temple. The group will then proceed to Mt. Verstovia Lodge No. 18 in Sitka on March 13, and Tongass Lodge No. 19 in Ketchikan the following evening.

The Grand Master's focus this year is outreach to the community and strong support to youth groups.

There are 21 lodges in the state, offering a rich variety of activities for members of the Masonic fraternity.

Listeners, talkers needed to deal with subsistence

Can you listen without grimacing? Talk without grandstanding or politicking?

Both listeners and participants are needed for Alaskans Listening to Alaskans About Subsistence, which will hold sessions in Juneau on March 18 and 19. The first session is for Native hunters, fishermen and gatherers, said Southeast project coordinator Jeanine Smith. The second session is for non-Natives. "The compassionate listening model comes from a similar project focused on the Israel-Palestine conflict," she added.

Alaskans Listening to Alaskans about Subsistence is sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker service organization dedicated to peace and justice which would like to teach the non-potshot model of being neighbors to more Alaskans. Sessions have already been completed in Anchorage, Fairbanks and the village of Buckland, south of Kotzebue. The project challenges Alaskans to hear experiences and values of those with different viewpoints, whether rural, urban, Native or non-Native.

"There are very few opportunities for Alaskans from different backgrounds to get to know one another as people first," said project director Cynthia Monroe of Anchorage. "But that's the best way to understand one another. Once you hear someone's story, you see them as a person, and then everything changes."

A meeting is also scheduled for Ketchikan, and in smaller Southeast communities in late April. People interested in speaking about their own experiences, values and concerns or observing as listeners are needed. To sign up or for more details, call Jeanine Smith at 586-9421. Participants from both the March 18 and 19 sessions will get together in a later session, Smith said.

For general information about Alaskans Listening to Alaskans about Subsistence, browse the Web site at

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