National Week of Conversation, which takes place from April 5-13, 2019, is an annual occasion when people with diverse perspectives Listen First to understand.
Through in-person and virtual conversations exploring any topic of interest, people of all stripes intentionally convene with the goal of civic revitalization. Libraries often host community conversations, so to commence the National Week of Conversation, we’re highlighting a few upcoming events, as well as resources available for facilitating conversations about difficult, or controversial topics in your community.
Adults are invited to the Pine River Library on April 9, 2019 from 5:45 – 7:15 pm for Living Room Conversations: Forgiveness. Living Room Conversations are a conversational bridge across issues that divide and separate us. They provide an easy structure for engaging in friendly yet meaningful conversation with those with whom we may not agree. These conversations increase understanding, reveal common ground, and sometimes even allow us to discuss possible solutions. Visit the Living Room Conversations Website for more information.
With “Beyond Columbine,” RMPBS offers a facilitated conversation, which seeks to humanize and illuminate the ways in which our community and state have been impacted in the last 20 years. Utilizing video excerpts from RMPBS’s upcoming series “Beyond Columbine,” multiple locations in our state will partake in a conversation, sharing our personal stories in the time since Columbine.
- Mesa County Libraries hosts Beyond Columbine: Grand Junction – A Community Conversation with RMPBS on April 10, from 6:00-8:30.
- Pueblo City-County Library hosts Beyond Columbine: Pueblo – A Community Conversation with RMPBS on April 10, from 6:00-8:30.
Join Arapahoe Library District for Still Coming Home: Conversations About the Experience of War on April 12 from 1:30-3:00 pm. Hear stories from Denver veterans collected in the recently published anthology Still Coming Home. Talk with the authors, editors, and other community members about their experience of war in this moderated reading. Co-hosted by Colorado Humanities. Learn more at coloradohumanities.org.
Denver Public Library hosts You Can’t Unfriend Everyone: Effective Dialogue with Your Friends and Neighbors on April 17 from 6:30-7:30. This interactive session from The Conflict Center will focus on a variety of ways that we “unfriend” people and review facilitation skills we can use everyday – such as reframing resistance, listening deeply, and navigating triggers – to stay “in conversation” instead.
Interested in hosting civic conversations in your library? Find out how your library can participate in At the Table Colorado‘s (ATTC) next statewide “table,” which takes place in April, in the update that ATTC provided in a recent webinar sponsored by the Colorado State Library, which featured an overview of the program and information on hosting community forums for civic conversation. Watch the archive of the webinar, Civic Conversation in Libraries: At the Table Colorado (2/26/19), and visit the Colorado Virtual Library blog to learn more.
Finally, check out the Colorado State Library’s Let’s talk about it! Resource Kits. The Let’s talk about it! initiative was created to help public library staff better serve traditionally under-served populations and to give staff the tools needed to host and facilitate critical community conversations. These Resource Kits are a way to authentically engage with members of your community and generate public knowledge.
We currently have two Lets’s talk about it kits available for loan – the kit containing information, activities and resources to help library staff work more effectively with people experiencing homelessness in their communities, and a kit to help library staff work more effectively with the LGBTQ folks in their communities.
We will be adding more kits to the Let’s talk about it! Series – so please check back here for updates.