Take the 5-Foot Challenge

I am a true believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer. –Abraham Lincoln

We were inspired by Greg Ellison, the founder of Fearless Dialogues, to join him in offering our neighbors a challenge. We’ll let Greg tell his story:

I was a different kind of kid. Raised in Atlanta, in the backyard of Martin Luther King’s home, I had big dreams. One afternoon, when I was around five-years old, I was sitting on the porch with my Aunt Dotty.   Out of the blue, I asked, “Aunt Dotty, how can I change the world?” Her response was simple and profound, “I don’t know how to change the world but I can change the 3-feet around me.”

So Greg’s group Fearless Dialogues made this challenge: if you want to change the world, do what you can about the 3-feet around you.

tape-measureWe couldn’t agree more. Ultimately, real progress we make on healing divisions isn’t a Washington, D.C. or internet kind of a deal, it is a person-to-person-to-person affair. And there isn’t a better time to start than now, or a better place to start than right where you are.  The Book Club on Race is a tool we’re offering to you in taking this challenge. You can also join us for our series Race to the Movies: An Unflinching Conversation on Race + Popcorn. But there are a million different ways you can take the challenge, simply by looking at your social circle and expanding it – coffee, dinner, hanging, acts of kindness. This isn’t hard, it’s fun.

So we invite you to take the “5-Foot Challenge” with us (we’re overachievers and apparently 5 foot long tape measures are easier to come by). We’ll be checking back on how the challenge is going when we meet again for our Created Equal program next spring. Until then, measure your own life. Let us know if you’d like to issue the challenge to a group that you’re involved with (we can give you tape measures).


Request an invitation or volunteer to host a group.

Photo courtesy of Barbara Wescott.