“We don’t know each other. And because we don’t know each other, we don’t trust each other,” remarked Gwendolyn Riley, a local African American journalist after joining a dozen other black and white residents in December 2007 to begin a conversation on race relations. A retired local judge, who once ordered local civil rights activists jailed in the 1960s, had asked me to facilitate the process. I began that first session by asking the group to tell me the story of their community. Most of the conversation centered around racial tensions, especially in local politics. The attendees described the town’s contentious history, including: the creation of the White Citizens’ Council, a group that resisted the 1954 Brown decision and other civil rights advances, and the first place that civil rights activists called for “black power” during a 1966 march. By the end of that conversation, there was consensus on two items: that these freighted racial dynamics could not be changed because they were entrenched in and reinforced by local politics, but that this group was willing to meet again. My hope was that the group had taken a first small step toward a process of reconciliation leading toward social justice.