We can't overcome an issue if you don't know what it is about.

Bridges

The beginning

Bridges began as an effort of the Quest for Social Justice and the Bay Area Women’s Coalition to bring diverse groups of people together for a meal and facilitated table conversation about the issues related to race relations.

Belief in God’s loving care for all people continues to be its primary motivating force.

Since 2006, local churches have hosted Bridges Dinner Dialogues to discuss two issues of concern, education and poverty.

The discussions revolved around transparency in government, the need for a new Alabama State Constitution, the unreality of race and the high school dropout rate.

Avenues of Hope

The future

MAIC has taken the concept of the Bridges Dinners and developed seminars using dialogue to highlight the issues of incarceration and recidivism.

These seminars are called “Avenues of Hope.” and the purpose of the seminars is to bring to the forefront what recently released citizens endure as they try to reenter the community and to offer hope and ways to break the cycle of repeat offending.

Here are some key insights conference attendees listed as they experienced the barriers that a returning citizen faces:

  • "It is easier to break the law and go back to jail.
  • "It was difficult to prove a need so services could be rendered."
  • "This reentry process should start in jail."
  • Organizations don’t talk to each other."
  • "People did not show compassion."
  • "I had no idea how costly and complicated the process was."

Goals

  • To promote genuine and substantive dialogue between a broad spectrum of area citizens
  • To increase awareness and understanding of the issues and to share personal stories
  • To inspire action (individual and collective) on challenging or divisive issues

Future Avenues of Hope seminars Dates will be posted on this website.