On Saturday, March 11, the Winchester Multicultural Network brings to our community its annual workshop, free of charge and open to all. This year, “Constructive Conversations across Differences” will be at the Sanborn Historical House, 15 High Street, from 9 am to 1 pm.
In this experiential half-day workshop, participants will learn skills that enable them to break destructive cycles of polarization and to have constructive conversations with those whose perspectives differ. By learning, in difficult moments, to question with genuine curiosity, to speak in ways that are more likely to be heard, and to listen in order to understand, participants can cultivate ways to build trust across differences.
Essential Partners (EP) will provide professional facilitation. With over 25 years of experience in facilitating productive dialogue, its growth span parallels the Network’s 25 years of building inclusive and equitable community. Its founder Laura Chasin “imagined a different kind of civic life—one in which people could speak truthfully and compassionately about what mattered in their communities without letting differences tear them apart.”
Initially known as the Public Conversations Project, Essential Partners brought their research into the most conflicted and emotional topics of the day. After the murder of two women outside local abortion clinics, Chasin co-facilitated a multi-year, private dialogue between pro-life and pro-choice leaders. Additionally, EP’s communication teams have worked with faith communities and in peace-building efforts overseas in conflict-torn regions. An emerging U.S. project focuses on bringing back trans-partisan collaboration, problem-solving, and working relationships into political discourse across the partisan aisle.
The Network’s community workshop has an attainable goal: to equip participants–those who live, work, attend schools and faith communities in Winchester—with the skills to have constructive conversations about what is most essential in their personal, professional, and civic lives. The practice of these skills has the power to move Winchester forward and create better ways of being together in connected, caring community.
Registration is limited; please register immediately for the March 11 community workshop at email@example.com.