Organization leader hopes new group will foster positive dialogue

4 years 9 months 3 weeks ago Monday, December 29 2014 Dec 29, 2014 Monday, December 29, 2014 4:26:00 PM CST December 29, 2014 in News
By: Brea Love, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA- About a dozen people came together on a cold November night to discuss ways to better their community.

The members of the Columbia Red Boot Coalition met at a local church for its first official meeting in the city. Over refreshments, everyone said their name, their thoughts, and listened in effort to make change in Mid-Missouri.

"The Red Boot Coalition is a group of generally joyful and empowered people who are just frustrated with the current way people dialogue about politics, race, gender, and money," organization founder Molly Barker said. "We are trying to reframe the dialogue so that its more positive, and that we're engaged in a more positive way with each other."

Barker named the group the Red Boot Coalition when her daughter bought her a pair of red cowboy boots.

"The minute I put the red boots on people wanted to engage. They look at the boots and they automatically think you're a really friendly person, and I am," Barker said. "What happens is, it just opens up dialogue."

This is not the first organization Barker has created. She started Girls on the Run; a non-profit meant to empower young girls by training them for a 5K race. She started that organization in North Carolina back in 1996. It now has more than 200 councils in the U.S. and Canada.

During the Red Boot Coalition meetings, the goal is to have everyone sit in a circle and freely discuss certain issues. There would be a rotation of leaders and discussion topics.

For the first meeting Barker facilitated. Each member held a flyer with the 11 steps the coalition must follow.

Barker requires a script, which she prepared, for anyone who wants to start their own Red Boot Coalition meeting. The script is designed to allow people to stay on topic, and make it easy for anyone to follow along.

"The group is open to anyone and everyone. The hope is that we begin to broaden it, so that we have very diverse groups of people engaging on some very interesting topics in a way that is open and understanding of one and other," Barker said.
"It's really about building understanding between groups of people who are very different from each other."

The idea of the coalition came to Barker when she was asked to serve on a commission that explored dialogue between congressional members. She said she didn't understand why people high in leadership couldn't speak civilly with each other.

After going on a trip around the nation to meet and talk with everyday people, she discovered it wasn't just politicians, but people living average lives who could work on the way they speak with each other.

Barker said she wants to end dialogue in the political and everyday world that can be destructive and painful.

Member Dawn Brown will be facilitating the next meeting and said this coalition should matter to Mid-Missourians.

"We are in a position where there is so much divisiveness and so much polarization," Brown said. "People are being spread farther apart. I don't think that's a healthy place for us to be. I would like to see a world for my children to grow up in where people are working together and working to make our country and our world a better place."

Barker offers a children's coalition where younger people can learn to have peaceful dialogue and talk about issues that face them and their peers.

The group's website offers information on how to get involved.

 

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - The Cole County Sheriff's Department said Tuesday it used pepper spray at a Lincoln University Homecoming Concert... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, October 22 2019 Oct 22, 2019 Tuesday, October 22, 2019 8:23:00 PM CDT October 22, 2019 in News
FRANKLIN COUNTY - Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers found a kangaroo Monday night who escaped from his home. Troop... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, October 22 2019 Oct 22, 2019 Tuesday, October 22, 2019 7:53:00 PM CDT October 22, 2019 in News
MILLER COUNTY — Neighbors in Eldon are angry that they're finding styrofoam waste in their yards. Multiple properties... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, October 22 2019 Oct 22, 2019 Tuesday, October 22, 2019 7:34:00 PM CDT October 22, 2019 in News
SEDALIA - The Sedalia Police Department reported a 17-year-old missing Monday night. Marie McDonald was last seen on Oct.... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, October 22 2019 Oct 22, 2019 Tuesday, October 22, 2019 7:27:00 PM CDT October 22, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Several mid-Missouri nonprofit organizations said they are experiencing “donor fatigue” after the destruction of the May tornado.... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, October 22 2019 Oct 22, 2019 Tuesday, October 22, 2019 7:12:00 PM CDT October 22, 2019 in News
KEYTESVILLE - A judge in Chariton County found Tuesday there is probable cause to send James Pleasant’s case to trail.... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, October 22 2019 Oct 22, 2019 Tuesday, October 22, 2019 5:13:00 PM CDT October 22, 2019 in News
KINGSTON, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri prosecutor and sheriff will give an update Wednesday into the disappearance of two Wisconsin... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, October 22 2019 Oct 22, 2019 Tuesday, October 22, 2019 4:53:00 PM CDT October 22, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Commission approved Tuesday morning a budget amendment for additional and/or replacement outdoor warning sirens. ... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, October 22 2019 Oct 22, 2019 Tuesday, October 22, 2019 3:18:00 PM CDT October 22, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A judge sentenced a former coach who worked at school districts in Fulton and Ashland to three years... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, October 22 2019 Oct 22, 2019 Tuesday, October 22, 2019 3:15:00 PM CDT October 22, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA -The Columbia Mall has three big projects on its radar including Dillard's Men's, a Hilton Hotel and Level Up... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, October 22 2019 Oct 22, 2019 Tuesday, October 22, 2019 2:42:00 PM CDT October 22, 2019 in News
REPUBLIC, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri man has busted the state records for the heaviest and second-heaviest pumpkins. KMBC-TV... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, October 22 2019 Oct 22, 2019 Tuesday, October 22, 2019 12:20:00 PM CDT October 22, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The legend of "Mad" Max Scherzer still seems to drift through Taylor Stadium. "A lot of people... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, October 22 2019 Oct 22, 2019 Tuesday, October 22, 2019 12:10:00 PM CDT October 22, 2019 in News
ATLANTA (AP) — Former President Jimmy Carter is in the hospital again after falling and fracturing his pelvis Monday... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, October 22 2019 Oct 22, 2019 Tuesday, October 22, 2019 6:54:00 AM CDT October 22, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia approved an increase in funding for Job Point's affordable houses on Monday. Job... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, October 22 2019 Oct 22, 2019 Tuesday, October 22, 2019 5:46:00 AM CDT October 22, 2019 in Top Stories
(CNN) -- Four attorneys general announced a proposed framework for a global settlement that could resolve lawsuits against five companies... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, October 22 2019 Oct 22, 2019 Tuesday, October 22, 2019 4:16:38 AM CDT October 22, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Tiger fans, the Border War is back. Missouri and Kansas have agreed to play... More >>
1 day ago Monday, October 21 2019 Oct 21, 2019 Monday, October 21, 2019 8:28:00 PM CDT October 21, 2019 in News
LOUISIANA, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Transportation has apologized for posting an edited photo that cropped out a... More >>
1 day ago Monday, October 21 2019 Oct 21, 2019 Monday, October 21, 2019 7:14:00 PM CDT October 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A unanimous vote by the Columbia City Council Monday night decided School Resource Officers (SROs) will have another... More >>
1 day ago Monday, October 21 2019 Oct 21, 2019 Monday, October 21, 2019 6:34:00 PM CDT October 21, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 42°
12am 45°
1am 44°
2am 44°
3am 44°