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Talking across difference: How can we have conversations that bring us together?

October 11 , 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Conflict in communities, families and among friends seems increasingly visible and the resulting
separations can be painful. How can we have conversations that bring us together rather than drive us
apart? Many of us were raised in families and communities where disagreements were pushed under
the rug, or the “answer” imposed by a parent or community leader. Being able to engage in
conversations from different points of view without ending up making the situation worse is a skill that
is desperately needed in our communities today.

The facilitator, Deborah Conners, teaches community engagement and social justice courses in the
Department of Anthropology and Sociology at Carleton University, having earned a mid-career PhD in
2016 and an earlier Masters in Conflict Studies. Her courses, based on adult-learning principles practiced
over several decades in community development and consulting work, take a “learning together”
approach to frame a dynamic learning experience.

The program begins on October 4th and concludes on November 22nd . The first four sessions are one
week apart (Oct, 4, 11 and 18, 25). We have two weeks between each of the remaining sessions (Nov. 8
and 22). All sessions are from 1:30pm to 4:00pm at the Perth Union Public Library. The cost of the
program is $110. For more information or to register, email deborah@artsforhealing.ca.

Topics and Dates:
Week 1: Introducing a framework for understanding conflict Oct 4
Week 2: Who do we think they are? A trauma-informed approach to conflict Oct 11
Week 3: What do the “isms” have to do with it? Exploring gender, race, and ability Oct 18
Week 4: Skills for difficult conversations, part 1 – Practicing Crucial Conversations Oct 25
Week 5: Skills for difficult conversations, part 2 – Practicing Non-violent Communication Nov 8
Week 6: Skills for difficult conversations, part 3 – Further Practice Nov 22


October 11
1:30 pm - 4:00 pm