In Detroit, 12 Catholic parishes in the northwest of the city and the St. Peter Claver Catholic Community used the Cube of Love for their event “Healing the Racial Divide.”
Life Directions, an organization which aims to help children out of poverty, initiated the event and created time and space for meaningful dialogue across ethnic, racial, religious, generational and gender lines.
Joni Scott, who directs religious education at Christ the King Catholic Church, introduced the Cube of Love to the participants. This tool features six sides with phrases that characterize the Gospel-based Art of Loving, like “Love everyone” or “Be the first to love.”
“Each side of the Cube is a ‘face’ of unconditional love,” she explained. “Today, it is our face to each other as we come together to heal the racial divide.”
Each table selected one side of the Cube to be their “face” of unconditional love.
Imam Arif Huskic emphasized the importance of interreligious connections for a more peaceful and just world. He reminded participants of the one million Uighurs, mostly Muslims, facing genocide in Chinese re-education camps.
“Our problem is the silence of the news media. Genocide is happening before our eyes, but no one knows how we can put a stop to it.”
Ike McKinnon, an African American former Detroit Chief of Police, gave his perspective on the racial divide. He shared that when he joined the force, “I was shot at by white police officers three times. Do you hear me! Police officers shooting at another man in blue! Me! Because I was Black.
“But I did not give up on the values of my faith and family: reconciliation, understanding, solidarity, unity and love. I sought them in my professional relationships for the common good of all. Building bridges is a path to heal the racial divide!”
Frank Jackson III, a longtime member of the Life Directions board, called upon grandparents and elders (who represented a large portion of those gathered) to teach universal and timeless principles to those younger than themselves.
In his career as legal counsel at Blue Cross Blue Shield, Jackson practiced seven habits of highly effective people as described by author Stephen Covey:
- Be proactive (you’re in charge).
- Begin with the end in mind (have a plan).
- Put first things first (work first, then play).
- Think win-win (everyone can win).
- Seek first to understand, then to be Understood (listen before you talk).
- Synergize (together is better).
- Sharpen the saw (balance feels best).
“If we teach this to the next generation, we teach responsibility, and we set young people on a path out of poverty. They will become a gift to their future families,” said Jackson.
The panel discussion highlighted the need to seek healing through wisdom and reconciliation, and the priority of finding common ground.
One paragraph of the instructions of the Cube of Love says: “The Art of Loving reaches its fullness in reciprocal love: when we love, we are loved in return. Love generates love. So before acting, ask, ‘Does this generate love?’”
If it does, it will generate healing too.