“To argue with someone else's experience is a waste of
time. To add someone's experience to your experience— to create a new experience—is possibly valuable.”
LWV members are often curious learners, interested in many issues and ideas. When they gather together, the occasion is likely to include lively conversation on a variety of topics. That was certainly the case when a group of more than thirty Leaguers came together last spring to share ideas about civic engagement. We called
that event a “gathering” and used an approach known as conversation café to promote the exchange
of ideas with many people in short
rounds of small group discussion.
Comments about that event were very positive,
as participants made new (and renewed old)
acquaintanceships and considered how they
could improve their own civic engagement.
That event also highlighted the merit of engaging
with those with whom we disagree, rather
than avoiding those conversations, as we often
do. The experience of learning from each other
whetted the appetite for what’s possible if we
widen the circle of engagement.
In an effort to offer a skill-building opportunity
for League members, all are invited to join together
to learn about and use dialogue—a way of
communicating that promotes shared exploration
and understanding. We’ll practice with a
topic that’s soon to be a national League study:
privatization—the policy agenda to transfer government
functions, services and assets to the
When: Saturday, April 16, 2011; 8:45 a.m. to
12:00 noon; coffee available at 8:30 a.m.
Where: Borgess Navigation Center, behind the
Medical Specialties Building on the Gull Road
campus; turn on Shaffer Road and follow the
signs; parking is next to the building. 226-5170.
RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org or 544-0303
Take this opportunity to practice a useful life
skill—one that enables the kind of civil discourse
the League strives to model.