Choose Civility Portland
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Choose Civility Portland

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Portland Public Library invites the Greater Portland community to enhance our public life by choosing civility! PPL is pleased to announce  Choose Civility Portland, modeled on the work of  the Howard County Library System.  With generous funding from the Lerner Foundation, the Library aims to position itself as a community center where citizens can gather to discuss issues important to our community.

At PPL, we believe we are all enriched by our differences and fueled by diverse ideas and sources of knowledge. We understand a common practice of civility to be an essential component for maintaining our vibrant role as a community commons. We are excited to investigate further what civility means to us, as a community, and what ideas we have to promote civic engagement.

In partnership with the Lift360 (formerly the Institute for Civic Leadership), PPL will host Portland Public Conversations, a series of public forums designed to engage us in questions central to our shared public life and to provide an opportunity for civil discourse and to reflect on the kinds of civility-practices that matter most in our community.

September 30th :  Portland’s People: Who Lives Among Us? (Main Library 8am, doors open at 7:30) – In 2004, Journalist Bill Bishop coined the phrase “The Big Sort” to describe growing segregation, both physical and intellectual, in the USA.  10 years later, political scientists agree that this phenomena is growing.  How are we sorted in Greater Portland and what can we learn from crossing divides?  This program will include an opportunity to reflect on the most current Census Data about our demographics and to engage in an exploration of stories and perceptions about each other with director of the Office of Minority Health Lisa Sockabasin.  Ample time will be allowed for facilitated table conversation.  Click here for our flyer: Choose Civility Portland Conversations

Save the following dates for more in our series: 
November 25th:  Participating Portland: Practical Opportunities to Get Involved
December 9th : Picturing Portland: Visioning Our Shared Future

Stay tuned for upcoming programs in partnership with the Maine Humanities Council!  We will offer an opportunity to explore the values underpinning civility, drawing on shared readings from the Civically Engaged Reader.

Share suggestions for programs or feedback with Kim Simmons, Program Coordinator simmons@portland.lib.me.us

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Upcoming Events:
Oct29
Inequality For All
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Location: Main Library, Rines Auditorium Audience: Adults, Teens, Seniors Join the Choose Civility Initiative; League of Women Voters, Portland; Maine Center for Economic Policy and USM's Department of Economics for a screening of the film Inequality for All and a discussion about it's relevance here and now.
Nov06
Veterans Legal Clinic
1:00pm - 3:00pm
Location: Main Library, meeting room (4) Audience: Adults The Volunteers Lawyer Project and the veterans’ benefits attorneys are pleased to provide this service to help guide our respected veterans through the VA benefits process.
Nov06
Muslim Journeys Film Series : Koran By Heart
6:30pm - 8:30pm
Location: Main Library, Rines Auditorium Audience: Adults, Teens, Seniors A compelling and nuanced glimpse into some of the pressures faced by the next generation of Muslims. The film will be followed by a discussion facilitated by Reza Jalali, Author and Coordinator Multicultural Student Affairs.
Nov20
Muslim Journeys Film Series : Prince Among Slaves
6:30pm - 8:30pm
Location: Main Library, Rines Auditorium Audience: Adults, Teens, Seniors The remarkable true story of an African prince, who endured the humiliation of slavery without ever losing his dignity or hope for freedom. Presented as part of the Maine Humanities Council's Bridging Cultures Bookshelf.
Nov25
Participating Portland: Practical Opportunities to Get Involved
7:30am - 10:00am
Location: Main Library, Rines Auditorium Audience: Adults, Teens, Kids & Families, Seniors The Choose Civility Initiative, in partnership with Lift360 invites you to this participatory conversation exploring ways to get involved with your community through volunteer works and other means.
Dec04
Veterans Legal Clinic
1:00pm - 3:00pm
Location: Main Library, meeting room (4) Audience: Adults The Volunteers Lawyer Project and the veterans’ benefits attorneys are pleased to provide this service to help guide our respected veterans through the VA benefits process.
Dec09
Picturing Portland: Visioning Our Shared Future
7:30am - 10:00am
Location: Main Library, Rines Auditorium Audience: Adults, Teens, Kids & Families, Seniors The Choose Civility Initiative, in partnership with Lift360 invites you to this participatory conversation envision how we might like the future Portland to look.
Jan01
Veterans Legal Clinic
1:00pm - 3:00pm
Location: Main Library, meeting room (4) Audience: Adults The Volunteers Lawyer Project and the veterans’ benefits attorneys are pleased to provide this service to help guide our respected veterans through the VA benefits process.
Feb05
Veterans Legal Clinic
1:00pm - 3:00pm
Location: Main Library, meeting room (4) Audience: Adults The Volunteers Lawyer Project and the veterans’ benefits attorneys are pleased to provide this service to help guide our respected veterans through the VA benefits process.
Mar05
Veterans Legal Clinic
1:00pm - 3:00pm
Location: Main Library, meeting room (4) Audience: Adults The Volunteers Lawyer Project and the veterans’ benefits attorneys are pleased to provide this service to help guide our respected veterans through the VA benefits process.
Apr02
Veterans Legal Clinic
1:00pm - 3:00pm
Location: Main Library, meeting room (4) Audience: Adults The Volunteers Lawyer Project and the veterans’ benefits attorneys are pleased to provide this service to help guide our respected veterans through the VA benefits process.
May07
Veterans Legal Clinic
1:00pm - 3:00pm
Location: Main Library, meeting room (4) Audience: Adults The Volunteers Lawyer Project and the veterans’ benefits attorneys are pleased to provide this service to help guide our respected veterans through the VA benefits process.
Jun04
Veterans Legal Clinic
1:00pm - 3:00pm
Location: Main Library, meeting room (4) Audience: Adults The Volunteers Lawyer Project and the veterans’ benefits attorneys are pleased to provide this service to help guide our respected veterans through the VA benefits process.
Recent Posts:
Inequality for All: Watch & Discuss Oct 29th 6:00 PM!
October 9, 2014 - Promotion of the Inequality for All screening and suggested complementary resources.   more »
Choose Civility and Constitution Week!
September 23, 2014 - Portland Public Conversations and Choose Civility program overview   more »
August 26th = Women’s Equality Day
August 28, 2014 - Resources related to August 26th - Women's Equality Day   more »