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Common Ground

The Scoville Library is continuing its four-part series, Common Ground Conversations: Listening Past Differences, during February and March. The program is facilitated by Dr. Mary B. O’Neill and is also available through the Norfolk Library and continues on Sundays, February 21st, March 14th and 28th at 4PM.

O’Neill, Ph.D. previously lectured in philosophy, humanities and international business at Western Connecticut State University before becoming an employee engagement consultant and the career experience coordinator at Housatonic Valley Regional High School. 

The series seeks to create understanding and build common ground. Participants 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 America’s 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. One often finds shared values underlying diversity. Seeking and finding those commonalities means listening to accepting the other as an individual striving to create a life worth living.

The sessions are 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. 

After registering on the library websites, and participants will receive a confirmation email with hyperlink to join.