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Common Ground Conversations: Listening Past Differences,  facilitated by Dr Mary B. O’Neill

 

Sunday February 7 and 21

             March 14 and 28

Made possible with a grant from the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation’s special grant initiative Bridging Divides, Healing Communities funded by Berkshire Bank

A four part series to create understanding and build  common ground.

Participants will learn skills for intentionally and empathetically listening and speaking to each other. They will then use these skills to discuss common values and concerns and think about how to heal the tears in our social fabric. In later sessions, they will focus on the need to attach to some larger purpose as part of the human experience and as a tool to build connections to each other.

The goal of these sessions is not to solve big problems, change minds, or make everyone see the world the same way. Diverse views are healthy and necessary. Underlying that diversity is often shared values. Seeking and finding those commonalities means listening to accepting the “other” as an individual striving to create a life worth living–as they define it.

The sessions will be interactive, with discussion prompts, small break-out groups, and opportunities to share with each other. No advance preparation is required and different questions will be explored each week. Participants can attend one or all sessions. 

If you’re concerned about the loss of civility, connectivity, and respect in our civic and social lives together, maybe it’s time to act. Instead of lending credence to those divisive forces, embrace the power you have as an individual to end division, promote mutuality and respect, and establish common ground.

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