Fargo PD attends second Ubuntu Racial Dialogue

Published: Jun. 28, 2020 at 9:18 PM CDT
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People from all over the FM area took a seat around the campfire for the second open racial dialogue. Those in attendance say they are prepared to talk and listen.

"Honest conversations, maybe not understanding how to ask the right questions, and being informed about the diversity in the community,” said Erin Conduah, a participant of the dialogue.

Ubuntu is a South African word meaning having compassion. Organizers hope this will be an opportunity for open conversation for everyone in the community. A conversation that the Fargo Police Department is taking an active role in.

"We recognize what occurred several weeks ago put a feeling of fear in a lot of people,” said Sgt. Cristie Jacobsen, a member of the Community Engagement Team for the Fargo Police Department. “We just really want to sit down and step back and take a deep breath and just have positive conversations."

For some people in attendance, having the police present made them nervous.

"I just want to know, how come we went from "protect and serve" to just be afraid and freeze?” said Talyne, a participant of the racial dialogue.

Sgt. Jacobson explained after hearing about the dialogue the community had last time, they wanted to get involved.

"We're just trying to build relationships and engage in trust-building, and we recognize that truth building takes a lot of time and a lot of purposefulness and that's what we're doing here,” Sgt. Jacobsen said.

The idea of sitting down and having an open discussion is a mission shared by all.

Ubuntu Racial Dialogue organizers say they want to make it a regular event. Fargo Police Department says they are open to the continuous dialogue between community and law enforcement and hope to stay involved in the conversations.

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