Lola Akinmade Åkerström – photographer, author, and story teller
The Power of Asking Why Not: Unlocking Unconscious Bias in the Church
Tuesday 23 February at 19h30 via Zoom.
In a world that forces us to be one-dimensional, metaphorically asking “why not” can help us reflect, understand each other better, challenge the status quo and our unconscious biases, and personally motivate us, when doors are closed to us. This is the question that also frames the immigrant experience in Europe, and a challenge to the church to examine its heart and how it can better reflect the image of Christ.
Award-winning author and travel photographer Lola Akinmade Åkerström explores culture through food, tradition, and lifestyle for high profile publications such as National Geographic, BBC, The Guardian, Lonely Planet, amongst others. She has collaborated with many well-known brands - from Mercedes Benz and Dove to Intrepid Travel and National Geographic Channel and is the author of three books – award-winning Due North, international bestselling LAGOM: Swedish Secret of Living Well (18 foreign language editions) and "In Every Mirror She's Black", coming September 2021. She earned a Masters (MSc) degree in Information Systems from the University of Maryland with a minor in Geography. She specialized in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for 12+ years and her affinity for the geosciences and maps meant that she was born to travel.
Born in Nigeria, Lola immigrated to the US when she was 16. Years later she married a Swede and immigrated again, this time to Sweden. Through each move her faith in God and love for others were a constant companion.
Lola's experience of navigating various cultures and societies, bumping into obstacles and assumptions about her along the way, helps us to consider the ways our own assumptions lead us to cultivate attitudes that create bias when encountering various people. Join us for a rich evening of exploring new ways of seeing and being as we seek to be the community that God intends for us to be.
Thurber Conversations are an adult community gathering and growth time that is open to all.
Video recordings of selected past Thurber Lectures and Conversations here
Kathleen Dameron – multicultural trainer, coach and facilitator
From Racial Literacy to Racial Healing
Tuesday 16 February at 19h30 via Zoom.
George Floyd’s tortuous murder on 25 May, under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer, captured on video, made it possible for millions of us to see this act of inhumanity “right before our own eyes.” Witnessing this act of violence has stirred the hearts and minds of “good people” who never before felt compelled to be part of the solution to racial violence and inequity. In cities all around the world, people have taken to their local streets calling for racial justice. If you are one of those “good people,” who has suddenly awakened to the reality of life for non-white people and are now looking for opportunities to learn, to evolve and to act in ways that move society along the continuum towards equality, equity, dignity, reparation and justice for all people, I invite you to step up and step out on your own journey in “Racial Literacy to Racial Healing.”
The invitation is ours as Christians, to explore our faith and prayer in order to heal racially as White people and Black people! On 16 February, we will travel together. After our interactive session, you will have an opportunity to continue working through a series of curated articles and questionnaires on-line.
Kathleen Dameron has dedicated her life to learning, personal development, and spiritual growth. She is a coach / facilitator between the White & the Black, and working across national cultures. Paris has been her home for 40 years. For 25 of these years, she led KD CONSEIL, a multicultural training and coaching firm serving Europe, China, India, and the US. She has often worked as the “only” Black in the room, except when she worked in Africa. She has deep experience and competency facilitating different cultures to work together in multinational companies and in executive MBA programs.
Since her childhood, she has been committed to studying, to personal development, and to spiritual growth. This is a watershed moment in human history. We truly have the opportunity to create a world of Justice, Equality, Dignity and Inclusion for all races. She wants to contribute her gifts to creating this world.