Hello dear friends.
This is Barbara Talley; I am the developer of this site, the "architect" of Foundation Hall University (FHU), and the visionary of the ARISE pupil of the eye conference held in Nashville in November 2019. The conference has been described by James and others who attended it as a "sea change" and he graciously invited me into the virtual prayer call space that had been going on for eleven years, 365 days a year. Those eleven years of prayer have created a fertile ground for building a virtual meeting space that is now focusing on the elimination of racism, building community and elevating the station of black people designated as pupil of the eye. You can click on the schedule to see what we're studying and if you wish to join us, complete the invitation on the Welcome page to receive information on how to dial into the daily conversation.
Inspired by the conference and anxious about the urgent need to focus on the "most VITAL and challenging issue" and moved by Sadie Oglesby's twenty days with the Guardian back in 1927, the organizers in consultation with the participants agreed to allow me to transform the space into a virtual university focused primarily on restoring dignity to people of African descent. It has evolved into a space where after daily prayer, we study, reflect, grow together. and keep the conversation focused on eliminating racial prejudice.
While it was primarily created as a virtual physical space to coordinate efforts for our daily conference call reflections, it clearly has applicability for any group that wishes to use the space to find pertinent documents, access the daily schedule, to join us, or become part of the expanding nucleus of race unity activists who choose to build their own tribes locally and use these resources without duplicating the effort.
"It [Freedom from racial prejudice] should be consistently demonstrated in every phase of their activity and life, whether in the Bahá’í community or outside it, in public or in private, formally as well as informally, individually as well as in their official capacity as organized groups, committees and Assemblies. It should be deliberately cultivated through the various and everyday opportunities, no matter how insignificant, that present themselves, whether in their homes, their business offices, their schools and colleges, their social parties and recreation grounds, their Bahá’í meetings, conferences, conventions, summer schools and Assemblies. It should, above all else, become the keynote of the policy of that august body which, in its capacity as the national representative, and the director and coordinator of the affairs of the community, must set the example, and facilitate the application of such a vital principle to the lives and activities of those whose interests it safeguards and represents."
Dear Friends. We have just completed the first phase of our Foundation Hall Virtual Spiritual Experiment where we transformed a space that had been ongoing for eleven years praying and building community to one that is focused on education that will eliminate prejudice and contribute to the building of the Divine civilization Baha'u'llah envisioned where peace and harmony would prevail.
During Phase One, we:
The last two weeks of March, we began having a virtual Reflection Gathering after many hours of consultation in our virtual conference call consultation space on how to restructure phase two of our consultation space. After two weeks of virtual consultation spanning many hours, along with data compiled from a Reflection Questionnaire sent to those who were participating, we came up with a new schedule for Phase II beginning April 2020. Forty-five of a possible 50 at the time completed the questionnaire. Now we have a whole new structure that is more focused and yet offers more flexibility.
While the focus is always about the elimination of prejudice, the formats have changed several times since we began in December 2019. When we first started our dialogues, there were a lot of hurt feelings, disinterest in the new focus on the most vital and challenging issue, habits of consultation that were not necessarily inclusive, and anger that the space was changing. So we made many changes during those first few months.
In November, we will have another Reflection Gathering, consult, and make the changes necessary for our spiritual, emotional, intellectual and numerical growth.