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Welcome to Fearless Dialogues. Are You Ready for Change?

by Faith and Leadership, syndicated from, May 20, 2019

Between the parking lot and the front door, those who attend Fearless Dialogues events will typically hear the following greetings several times, says Gregory C. Ellison II:

“It’s good to see you."

"Welcome to Fearless Dialogues."

"Are you ready for change?”

Launched by Ellison in 2013, Fearless Dialogues is a nonprofit organization that creates spaces for unlikely partners to engage in hard conversations about difficult subjects such as racism, classism and community violence. The nonprofit partners with organizations ranging from sports teams to schools and businesses to lead community conversations.

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Speaking the truth in love: Engaging in fearless dialogues

by The Presbyterian Outlook

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God,” Jesus taught the crowds during the Sermon on the Mount. But being a peacemaker often means engaging in controversial and difficult conversations that run the risk of confronting one’s own biases and prejudices as well as alienating others, no matter what side of the table one sits. In addition, pastors tend not to be confrontational by nature (and neither do congregations) until they are forced to confront such high-octane topics as racism, clergy sexual abuse, violence, church security, gun control, abortion, sexual identity, homosexuality, gay marriage, politics — you name it. What’s required is “a very particular set of skills,” to steal Liam Neeson’s line from the movie “Taken.”

How can we be effective change agents in the world? 

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Fearless dialogues described as hopeful, inspiring

by Glenese Scales, Rev. Autura Eason-Williams and Rev. Bill Lawson

On the way “from here to hear to there,” the terrain is often difficult, painful, and sometimes downright uncomfortable. Nevertheless, a capacity crowd from across the Memphis Conference of The United Methodist Church and beyond gathered close Sunday night at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis for what moderator and Emory University Professor Dr. Gregory Ellison called “fearless dialogues.”

Topics ranged from gender invisibility, white privilege, cowardice, disparities in health and education, mentoring as a transformative solution, to relationships, and bold leadership. 

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Hawks And Fearless Dialogues Team Up To Host Community Conversation

Isaiah Taylor, Malcolm Delaney, Atlanta Hawks

Over the weekend we teamed up with Fearless Dialogues to lead a conversation on the non-violence movement and honoring Dr. King. Malcolm Delaney and Isaiah Taylor joined the conversation with the youth as well.

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Emory’s Gregory Ellison sparks difficult conversations with “Fearless Dialogues”

Gail O'Neill

Three days after a jury acquitted George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, Emory professor Gregory C. Ellison II extended an unexpected invitation to radio listeners: “I think we should have a community conversation. Let’s all meet at Emory this Saturday.”

On the heels of that contentious verdict, scholars, educators and thought-leaders like Ellison, an associate professor of pastoral care and counseling at Emory’s Candler School of Theology, were called upon by the media to share their insights. When Ellison blurted out his invitation during a guest appearance on Atlanta public radio in the summer of 2013, he was speaking from the heart and, he says, “totally off the cuff.”

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Are you ready for change? 

By Jamala Rogers

I have been thinking about the Ferguson Uprising a lot – the conditions that led to it, what lessons have been learned, where the region is going, where the country is headed.

My reflections on the Ferguson Uprising anniversary are still being formulated. Some days that clarity is sharper than others. After a couple of days with originator and animator of Fearless Dialogues, Greg Ellison, I feel all my senses have been heightened. The challenge made to participants submitting themselves to the fearless dialogue experience is: Are you ready for change?

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faith & Action: 'this is life and death work we're doing'


March 19, 2017 - The speaker began his presentation in silence — nearly three full minutes without a word after the welcoming applause died down. He paced the stage, looking from person to person in the audience of more than 400 as they shifted uneasily in their seats. Finally, he spoke. Actually, he shouted. "It's good to finally see you!" As if on cue, laughter filled the lecture hall. Author, teacher and theologian Gregory Ellison II uses this exercise to make a point: Take the time in your daily life to see those who may feel invisible, unworthy, forgotten.

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putting solutions in place: leaders will meet at cts to address poverty

Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper

March 2, 2017 - Most people would describe poverty as being poor or not having much money. However, for Rev. Gregory C. Ellison II, Ph.D., there are different types of poverty.

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When Activism Is Worth the Risk

The Chronicle for Higher Education

July 20, 2015 - Academics who champion causes may be gambling with their careers. But for some dedicated activists, the choice is clear.

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Fearless Dialogues convenes Conversation in Nassau

The Nassau Guardian

On October 29, 2014, Fearless Dialogues was invited by a host of community activists, educators, ministers, and two parliamentarians to convene a conversation in Nassau, Bahamas.  Among the topics covered were the impact of violence on international tourism.  Pictured above signing the Fearless Dialogues poster is Minister of National Security Dr. Bernard Nottage.



July 13, 2013 - Gregory Ellison joins NPR's Michael Moore on TELL ME MORE from NPR's News to discuss how many Americans are still working through the verdict in the George Zimmerman case.

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Odd Man In

Emory Magazine

Summer 2013 - He is a gentle man who often sports a ball cap and bow tie, but Gregory C. Ellison II 99C has written a challenging, perhaps uncomfortable book. Ellison’s book chronicles the lives of five young African American men; two were modeled on men from a juvenile reentry program where he spent thirteen months working.

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The Way It Is and The Way It Could Be: Fear, Lessness, and the Quest for Fearless Dialogues

Pastoral Psychology

This article examines the history and philosophy of a burgeoning movement called Fearless Dialogues, which seeks to alter the perspective of how we see and hear those who are perceived to be marginal.  Drawing wisdom from a hard, heartfelt conversation documented in Ralph Ellison’s essay, “The Way It Is,” this interdisciplinary article utilizes resources from 20th and 21st century mystics to examine four primary fears that stifle dialogue and introduces an attitude of “lessness” that is necessary to create perspectival change.

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the Dark Night of Rage in a Culture of Nihilism: An Interdisciplinary Examination of Remembered Faces

Pastoral Psychology

This interdisciplinary survey of literature examines varied definitions of rage in social psychology, psychoanalysis, pastoral care, criminology, literature, and Biblical scripture in order to develop a more robust understanding of the destructive and generative elements of rage that may present themselves in Fearless Dialogues conversations. 

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