Mercer’s 18th Beloved Community Symposium features original film series


MACON — Mercer University’s Beloved Community Initiative is holding its 18th annual Building the Beloved Community Symposium on Oct. 12 and Oct. 26 at Willet Auditorium. Over two evenings, the group will screen four, 15-minute films concerning Macon’s racial history and then break into small group discussions. 

“This is our first year to have an original video series instead of a speaker as the main event of the symposium, but in Macon’s 200th year, it’s fitting,” explained Matt Harper, associate professor of history and Africana studies and co-convener of the Beloved Community Initiative. “If we care about the ministry of racial reconciliation in this city, we need to know our shared history. Where did we come from and where do we go from here?”

Harper added that each of the short films digs into a different moment in Macon’s history and asks us to rethink where our community has been and where we are going. 

The short videos are designed for people to watch and discuss in groups. After the showings, in panels and small group discussions, viewers will discuss: 

  • What in our faith traditions compels us to speak honestly about our past? 
  • How does knowing our past equip us to do the work of justice and reconciliation right now? 

After the symposium, the films will be made available to people and groups all over the city. 

18th Annual Building the Beloved Community Symposium 
Oct. 12
6-8:30 p.m.
Willet Auditorium, Mercer University campus
Showing of Episodes 1 and 2, followed by dinner and discussion

Oct. 26
6-8:30 p.m.
Willet Auditorium, Mercer University campus
Showing of Episodes 3 and 4, followed by dinner and discussion

Admission to all sessions is free and open to the public, but online registration is required.

The films were produced by And So We Go Productions with generous funding from the Griffith Foundation and are narrated by Verda Colvin, associate justice, Supreme Court of Georgia.