By Dwight Panozzo
The Accountability Circle met twice during the month of June via Zoom to begin our work of engaging in thoughtful and respectful but challenging conversations around difficult issues facing our world. After much discussion, we agreed upon several core concepts:
1. We are exploring and discovering the limits of our responsibility toward each other, particularly around issues where there is uncertainty and room for respectful disagreement.
2. We recognize that we are indeed culpable for many of the challenges in our world—not because we directly caused them but because we are citizens of the world, and, as such, have a duty to reduce the suffering and oppression in it to the extent we are able. Despite this, we decided to change our name to “Accountability Circle” as a way to widen our potential audience.
3. Although this is a project of the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County, it is open to anyone wishing to engage with us in our work together.
At next meeting, ‘woke racism’
Our next meeting will be on Sunday, Sept. 18, at 7 pm via Zoom. Please email Dwight Panozzo ([email protected]) for the Zoom link. Our topic will be the pros and cons of anti-racism through the lens of Columbia University professor John McWhorter. We will use the discussion to inform us as we decide whether to read and discuss his book “Woke Racism: How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America” at upcoming meetings this fall. Please watch this YouTube video of McWhorter’s appearance on the PBS show “Amanpour & Co.,” to prepare for the discussion.
Due to scheduling challenges, the next meeting after the Sept. 18 gathering will be Oct. 30 at 7 pm. We are planning to meet twice a month, generally on the morning of the second Saturday and the evening of the fourth Sunday of each month, beginning in November.
Dwight Panozzo is a member of the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County and founded the Accountability Circle.