Saturday, April 28, 2012


Each legislative committee is assigned volunteer monitors who have been trained by agencies of theUMC.  Their purpose is to monitor that all voices are heard and that discussion does not become hurtful based on demeaning remarks or cultural insensitivity. 

Every few hours the monitors stand to offer a report to the committee. Items that have been brought to groups attention: asking the group not to use metaphors or idioms that would not be understood by other cultures, reminding the group to speak slowly for those who need translation, giving counts on how many male and female voices have been heard, giving counts on what percentages by ethnicity have had voice. 

We have nothing like this type of reporting in the Detroit Annual Conference. I think it would be great to use this model in legislative committees and in plenary. Heightening awareness to hurtful language or excluding behaviors would be a blessing. 

Monitors sit listening at the edge of a legislative committee. 

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