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Community Conversations Says It’s Still Going Strong

Community Conversations

One Black Hills organization is expanding its effort to bridge cultural gaps in South Dakota.

The group Community Conversations includes not only members of the Lakota Community, but also support from organizations like the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce and Regional Health.

The group Community Conversations was formed a little over a year ago in Rapid City to help resolve race related issues. Chas Jewett is a founding member of Rapid City’s Community Conversations.

“We’ve been doing really well. More and more people keep showing up. What we’ve been able to do is just sustain ourselves. We weren’t like a movement that showed up, flared up after, you know, several high profile incidences last year and then disappeared. We stayed here and we’re still doing a lot of really good things,” says Jewett.

Jewett says the group is successful because of its efforts to bring people of different races and cultures together such as committee members from the Rapid City Regional Hospital and He Sapa Elders.

“Racism is based on ignorance. It’s ignorance about, you know, each other. And as Indian people and white people we have to bridge that gap. We have to educate each other about each other so that we can create a community that’s vibrant and diverse and sustainable,” Jewett says.

Jewett says as long racism exists there is a need for groups like this.

Community Conversations invites people to a public meeting once a month. The group has been expanding, hosting activities at public schools and at facilities like the Journey Museum and Regional Hospital in Rapid City.

A 5-K is scheduled for Saturday, June 4th that invites people to depart from Rapid City’s Memorial Park in four directions to represent Lakota culture.