CIVILTALK Team Offers Training Sun Dec 3

At the heart of our League’s success is attentive listening and deliberative problem solving.  CivilTalk, LWVBAE’s new and passionate team, is exploring new ways to enable civil, informed discussion of controversial public issues. We plan to use these methods to assist other groups to discuss and make hard choices in future.

On Sunday, December 3, 1:30-3:15, we will offer a National Issues Forum (NIF) demonstration in a meeting room at the Berkeley Central Library. Dr. Craig Paterson and Carole Paterson of Fairfield, NIF network partners, will lead the event. Dr. Paterson is helping us prepare for the event. We will select a controversial question in advance. Our team will then moderate and facilitate discussions of  that question. Interested participants may stay after the 90 minute event for discussion through 4:15 pm.

Come to the Forum: We invite League members and other interested people to participate in this Forum demonstration. You will learn by participating how NIF leads civil deliberations on difficult issues.

Please send an email at to join the Forum. If you have a friend who generally disagrees with your point of view, invite him or her to join you. Pairs with opposing views will have priority. Attendance is limited, so act now.

With training for moderating and facilitating, more League members will be able to lead small groups who want to discuss their opposing beliefs and find compromises. CivilTalk may also help us prepare voters to make decisions in the midterm elections.

Our Findings So Far: For the past few months, we have been evaluating the civil discourse methods of several effective organizations, including the National Issues Forum, Sips & Civility, Living Room Conversations and the San Luis Obispo League.   Each approach is based on active listening and sharing related stories and beliefs during a scheduled, structured, moderated gathering.  Next we will consider applying these formats in living rooms, in schools, and in government.  We plan to gather and analyze our results from several different methods.

When we talk, tweet and text people in our own bubbles, our democracy misses the chance to make shared decisions.  Go Deeper! Join our cause. If you want to help us learn and then apply ways to take a group deeper into issues–and are prepared to do some homework between meetings–please join us! We need your ears. We need your voice.

CivilTalk Team meets Second Wednesdays, 6:15-8
Suite F, 2530 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley
Contact Marybeth Falzareno at 925- 639-3738

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