In Focus: Peacemaker Resources Of Bemidji Promotes “Coming Together”
“I just love to see people. We have such hard winters where we don’t get out so much so a day like this, just come out and see people and enjoy it,” says Sarah Baker, a Bemidji community member.
When was the last time you had a genuine conversation with your neighbors? Peacemaker Resources of Bemidji is making an effort to build up more community relationships with their “Coming Together” event, or Mawanji’idim. This is the second time they’ve had it, and there was food, vendors and lots of different ways to just enjoy each other’s company.
“We really wanted to provide a time and a space for folks from all different walks of life, representing all different cultures in our community to come together, share a meal. We know how great conversation often comes when you’re eating together or participating in activities together,” says Linsey McMurrin, prevention specialist for Peacemaker Resources.
“Our community is really culturally diverse and so this is an opportunity to bring people together of various cultures and various backgrounds to come together. Get to know each other, share a meal and talk about the things that build community. Talk about ways that we can build and make progress to better community that we can live in,” says Ashley Charwood, cultural responsiveness guide for Peacemaker Resources.
The Coming Together event had many different ways for people to get to know each. Attendees were encouraged to use the activities to talk about building relationships.
Charwood says, “We have bubbles. We have rock painting. We have little puzzle pieces that people can create to talk about sort of community that they want to live in, the community that they envision. We have coloring sheets and coloring activities and lots of fun stuff and then there’s also the park here so people can run around and play at the park, too.”
“Coming Together” basically served as the kick-off for more free community positive events to come. Peacemaker Resources has a full list planned for Fall.
“Beginning in September, [we have] Building The Bridge, which is really designed for folks to come and learn, to spend time together, to be in conversation with one another. It’s the 3rd Tuesday of every month. We have flyers on our website and elsewhere. We have a mailing list if you want to really get engaged in the work as well,” says McMurrin.