On Nov. 15, at 4:30 p.m., Indianapolis-based spoken word artist and poet Manon Voice will be discussing the origins of reconciliation with the Irish poet, theologian, and mediator Pádraig Ó Tuama in the final event of the 2020 Spirit & Place Festival.
Ó Tuama is the leader of the Corrymeela Community, which is Northern Ireland’s oldest peace and reconciliation organization.
“The theme that Spirit and Place has chosen this year, is origins and so, of course, each event and each event host interprets that differently," said Voice. “Pádraig is known internationally for his peace and reconciliation work and then he has authored a number of books and so we need so we both have a lot to explore on these things."
She sees some parallels between the Corrymeela Community and an organization she co-founded, the Kindred Collective which she started with her friend Ben Tapper and a project under that umbrella called the “Hear Me Project” that they started in 2016.
“The reason why we started the organization is because we were living in a very tense, and polarized time where it just felt like our nation was so divided and people were not talking to each other,” she said. “There was a lot of talking at each other, of course, I think social media can also engineer a lot of the division and polarization. I think it sometimes mutes our ability to really be empathetic and to also really exercise the kind of listening and holding tension that is necessary for transformation in a community.”
The mission of the “Hear me” project was to bring people together around certain universal questions.
“Universally, we probably wrestle with a lot of the same big questions about our lives as individuals, no matter where we are, we think about our mortality, we think about our purpose in life," she said. "Why am I here? Am I making a difference? So, what we did; instead of trying to gather people around answers we gathered people around questions.”