Pella, Iowa- A Community Conversation was held in the town of Pella over the topic of civility.
The group Revive Civility Iowa, along with the Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University are working to conduct a series of meetings on civility.
“Our goal is to get people tools and strategies and ideas so that they can go out and have civil conversations in their community,” said Jeff Kluever, Assistant Director of Programs, at the Ray Center. “We can’t solve issues in these sessions, but if we can give people really good strategies, they can help them out in their daily life.”
The participants were given assignments on how to ask a question, and how to listen. The most important aspect, is to have an understanding where the other person is coming from.
To illustrate this point, a video was used with Iowa Family Leader President Bob Vander Plaats, and the late Donna Red Wing, of the group One Iowa. The two have been at opposite ends of the political spectrum over issues surrounding gay rights. The video showed how when they got to know each other, they found much common ground they shared, even though neither changed their position on the issues.
“ It made me think before we issued a press release, what would Donna think,” said Vander Plaats in the video. Red Wing said she was suprised at what a sense of humor Vander Plaats had.
“Really the tools and strategies can be applied to anything you can apply it to civility in conversations with in your workplace, you can apply it with your family, you can apply it around the dinner table,” said Kluever. “Incivility can show up in any number of different ways.”
Here is a list of upcoming Community Conversations.
Carroll, IA: September 18, 2018, 4-6pm
Cedar Rapids, IA: August 23, 2018, 5:30-7:30pm
Des Moines, IA: September 25, 2018, 4-6pm
Dubuque, IA: August 21, 2018, 4-6pm
Sioux City, IA: August 14, 2018, 4-6pm
To reserve your spot click to this website.