The Inclusive Dubuque Network is planning a series of Community Conversations to provide residents a safe space to discuss creating a community where everyone is respected, valued and treated fairly.
More than 70 community members attended the Network’s first conversation in December 2016.
“December’s meeting gave people a chance to test the waters, and I imagine most found the water to be calmer than they expected. Inclusive Dubuque is really trying to allow people to find a stable starting point for important discussions,” said Rachel Daack, professor of sociology at Clarke University. “Attending these community conversations encourages me to do what I already believe is an important thing—seeing my neighbors as neighbors.”
Community members at the conversation expressed a need for more events like this to be able to continue the conversation. In response, the Inclusive Dubuque Network has planned three additional Community Conversations taking place on February 15, March 28 and May 2. Each conversation will be held at Steeple Square from 6 – 7:30 p.m., and will focus on a different topic. In February, the focus of the conversation will be on building community and encouraging community members to get to know their neighbors.
“These conversations are about bringing together people from all walks of life to talk about our community, and how we can all work together to make it a better place for everyone,” said Katrina Farren-Eller, Inclusive Dubuque Network coordinator. “We talk often about using collective impact to change systems and sometimes we fail to engage those that the system affects. These conversations provide a great opportunity to get to know your neighbors and hear voices that might not usually be heard.”
The Peer-Learning Council, made up of volunteers in the Inclusive Dubuque Network, is the driving force behind these conversations. Through careful planning, they hope these opportunities focus on strengthening the Dubuque community by empowering people to have a voice; listen with understanding, appreciation and respect; have conversations about issues of equity in a safe space; help build a more informed and inclusive community; and respect a wide variety of opinions.
Inclusive Dubuque is a network of partners that is a resource for data and information, supports equity education opportunities, and creates and shares equity tools. To learn more about the Community Conversations, other upcoming educational opportunities, or equity toolkits, visit www.inclusivedbq.org.