M State series encourages conversations about issues

October 23, 2018
As part of an effort to learn to talk about the most important issues faced by our communities, Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Fergus Falls will host the first in a series of Respectful Conversations from 6-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, in Legacy Hall. Community members are invited to join organizers for a meal and to discuss significant and potentially divisive issues in ways that build empathy and understanding. Preregistration is appreciated. Respectful Conversations is funded in part by a 2018 West Central Initiative Community College Change Makers Grant, which aims to help west central Minnesota communities become more socially connected, equitable, hopeful and empowered. While conversations about important issues can sometimes be contentious and divisive, organizers say learning to have respectful conversations could change our community and teach us to talk in a way that feels open, honest and fair. To participate in the Respectful Conversations event on Nov. 13, preregister online at https://tinyurl.com/RC-PreReg. The topics for upcoming conversations are:
  • 13: A Respectful Conversation about race in our community
  • 12: A Respectful Conversation about cultural identity
  • April 9: A Respectful Conversation about equity
  • June 11: A Respectful Conversation about building an inclusive community that celebrates diversity
Respectful Conversations uses trained table facilitators to guide conversation. An ideal facilitator typically has a counseling or classroom background, but that is not required, and facilitators do not need to engage in the conversation itself. Anyone interested in registering for table facilitator training can sign up online at https://tinyurl.com/RC-TableHostTraining. Preregistration is required for the training, which will be from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, with a meal provided. The Respectful Conversations Project is a program of the Minnesota Council of Churches designed to strengthen the civic life of Minnesota. Communities throughout Minnesota are hosting conversations that explore issues through the lens of deeply held convictions while maintaining, even enhancing, relationships among those who disagree.