Fort Scott Community College celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Monday with their annual Lunch and Learn event, welcoming members of the community to participate in group discussions on the needs of the city and county.
“I think it’s a good time to take a day out and talk about topics,” Gordon Parks Museum director Jill Warford said to the nearly 80 people that attended.
The Rev. Dr. Jared Witt led the group into discussion questions, pointing out that despite diverse backgrounds, different political opinions and religious beliefs, it is important for members of the community to have conversations about how to move the city forward.
To be able to overcome those differences, Witt said people must focus, even though it is “a very noisy time,” and also grow up, taking responsibility for their own lives instead of remaining passive.
The people present discussed topics including what changes they would like to see in the community, how to make those changes happen, why is the holiday celebrated and what assets they can use to help such as their time and influence.
Some points raised during the conversations included the need for both mental and physical changes, such as the need for honest conversations concerning issues such as racism and tolerance, recycling in the county, a support of the arts, improving connections with college students in town and the need to involve young people in similar conversations.
“Talk isn’t enough,” Witt challenged those present, saying discussing these changes just once a year will not accomplish much.
Warford and Witt both said they are interested in beginning Sunday Suppers in upcoming months, when groups of residents interested come together for a meal to share ideas. Roundtable discussions will also be held for younger college and high school students.