Calendar preview: No pause on what matters 

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Our country is hurting right now. Rochester is hurting right now. Injustice is undercutting our constitutional ideals and basic human rights, but now is not the time for despair. Today, many are putting events on hold and taking the time to reflect while #TheShowMustBePaused. Still, there is no pause on what matters. Black Lives Matter.

At 5 p.m. tonight, the MK Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence hosts Conflict in the Comments, an online conversation about navigating hateful rhetoric and misinformation propagated online, or even brought up at the dinner table. Kit Miller, the Institute’s director, moderates this discussion with restorative justice facilitators Rivera Sun and Dominic Barter, who will present strategies to deescalate verbal conflict toward meaningful communication.

Then, at 6:30 p.m., the WOC Art Monthly Book Circle will discuss “Citizen: An American Lyric,” by Claudia Rankine. WOC Art Collaborative brings the voices of women of color to the forefront, fortified by a thoughtful collective of creatives whose backgrounds span ethnicities and disciplines. Priority in discussion participation is reserved for women of color, but anyone can view the livestream. Looking ahead, July’s Book Circle will discuss Toni Morrison’s “God Help the Child.”

On Thursday at 5 p.m., the MK Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence returns with the timely Anger as a Force for Change, an interactive online workshop designed to illuminate strategies to nurture the potential in raw anger as a germ of positive energy and action. Registration is required, and ticket options vary: Free, $20, or $40.

The rigors of physical exercise is one facet of harnessing one’s power, and Positive Force Movement is taking action by offering a free class for people of color, through a virtual Capoeira workshop with CITY writer Chris Thompson on Sunday, June 7, at 1 p.m. Capoeira is a vibrant martial art combining music with dance and acrobatics, tracing its roots to the African diaspora via Brazil, developed and practiced as means of a slave’s survival and self-defense. Capoeira was criminalized and punished. Eventually, the prohibition was lifted, and Capoeira has seen a revival in recent years; the best modern practice infuses its beauty with a reverence for its history. Space for this workshop is limited.

There’s still time to warm up for ROC Juneteenth Virtual 5K Run/Walk, on June 19. Juneteenth is a long-honored commemoration of slavery’s end on June 19, 1865. While the Emancipation Proclamation had occurred 2 years earlier, Juneteenth is recognized as the date of liberation. The outlying Texas had been the holdout, but the orders delivered on Juneteenth guaranteed rights to slaves as free. Celebrants can register for the 5K ($10), and donations will go toward Rochester’s Civil Rights Heritage Park in the city’s Baden Park.

Rochester’s civil rights history is tangible throughout the city. Sculptor Olivia Kim solidified the indelible presence of Frederick Douglass in 2018 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of his birth, with statues of Douglass, mid-oration, placed at a dozen sites of significance. A quiet, solo walking tour can be a salve and meditation during these times, and reignite a respect in our city and all its people.

Keep up to date with full listings of local online events on the CITY Events Calendar. Do you have an event you wish to include? You can submit online, or email event information to [email protected].
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