Magazine article UN Chronicle

'Truth Be Told': A Public Dialogue

Magazine article UN Chronicle

'Truth Be Told': A Public Dialogue

Article excerpt

South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission was set up as a forum for restorative justice and to expose the crimes of the apartheid era. Apart from providing much-needed exposure of that system, it encouraged informed discussions and collective healing by assigning responsibility and bearing witness to history. Truth commissions have become a model adopted by countries like Rwanda, still recovering from the 1994 genocide. Since 2001, the gacaca court hearings have offered justice at the village level, allowing Rwandans to try those accused of participating in the mass killings.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Honesty and integrity were among the topics covered during the public dialogue on "Your Truth, My Truth, The Truth", held at the Synod Hall of New York's Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine on 22 June 2005. Community Works, in association with the Harlem Arts Alliance and the New York Metropolitan Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Non-Violence, sponsored the morning exchange with world-renown activist William Sloane Coffin. Venerated by friends and respected by critics, he has earned a reputation as an outspoken political and moral agitator, who demonstrates the audacity and conscientiousness to criticize the status quo. Born in 1924 in New York City, Rev. Coffin has been known for combining religious fervour with a belief in active political engagement.

An active octogenarian with slightly slurred speech owing to two strokes, Rev. Coffin is most often identified as a former Freedom Rider (freedom riders challenged racial segregation in the southern United States), Yale University's outspoken chaplain and longtime senior minister at Riverside Church. He has been active in disarmament and anti-war efforts, most notably during the conflicts in Viet Nam and now in Iraq. In 1979, he headed SANE/FREEZE, a group that was renamed Peace Action in 1993. He recently published Credo ("I believe"), an award-winning manifesto that explores issues he felt deserved continued scrutiny and active public response.

The public dialogue was neither an unbiased nor a random gathering. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.