Drawing on all the community's collective voices—from "doctors to drug dealers"—Fearless Dialogues is a groundbreaking program that seeks real solutions to problems of chronic unemployment, violence, and hopelessness. In cities around the United States and now the world, the program's founder, Gregory C. Ellison, and his team create conversations among community members who have never spoken to one another, the goal of which are real, implementable, and lasting changes to the life of the community.
These community transformations are based on both face-to-face encounters and substantive analysis of the problems the community faces. In Fearless Dialogues: A New Movement for Justice, Ellison makes this same kind of analysis available to readers, walking them through the steps that must be taken to find common ground in our divided communities and then to implement genuine and lasting change.
"Ellison combines social theory, case study, and memoir to demonstrate how change takes hold among people typically divided by race or class. Early on, Ellison engages readers as active participants. The text is meant to evoke honest conversation. It is also meant to provoke a confrontation with the self by addressing the fear that arises between those with power and those without it." —The Christian Century
"Reading this book was an eye-opening exploration into a new way of building relationships. In a time when every news story pushes us farther and farther apart from each other, we need a new relational model to re-humanize our unlikely conversation partners." —Presbyterian Outlook
"Ellison writes in a thoroughly idiosyncratic way, and his sources are eclectic. The result is an intellectual quilt fabricated to brilliant effect."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Gregory Ellison II is a mystic prophet for this critical time in our collective consciousness. Through Fearless Dialogues he invites us into practices of radical discernment and spaces of wisdom within unexplored Creation and underdeveloped relationships. In these pages, Ellison's powerful story-telling—rooted in the experience of "seeing" thousands of unseen people—enters into conversation with his pastoral reading of history and context as he models the kind of personal reflection required to move "beyond" our narrow siloes and outmoded systems into King's radical revolution of values."—Rev. Starsky D. Wilson, president & CEO, Deaconess Foundation; Pastor, Saint John's Church (The Beloved Community); Co-Chair, The Ferguson Commission
"Reading these intimate experiences of Greg Ellison is to understand what inspires his wisdom, vision, and prophetic action. Each chapter's insights and challenging questions not only deepen readers' self-reflection, they expand our awareness for fearless dialogues that contribute to beloved community."—Luther E. Smith, Jr., PhD, Professor Emeritus of Church and Community, Candler School of Theology of Emory University
"Ellison provides us with a gift of remembering old ways and cultivating them anew in the practice of Fearless Dialogues that is as hopeful as it is timely. He challenges readers to consider our labor as scholars and activists: are we in need of revisiting the gifts the unlikely strangers bring to the transformation of both ourselves and our worlds? In Fearless Dialogues, we may find such spaces of authentic connection, by which our struggles for justice may also make us more human. To this end, Ellison has provided great service to both the church and the academy towards a more hope-filled future, three feet at a time." —Reading Religion