EVENT POSTPONED DUE TO WEATHER, new date will be announced at a later time. Our apologies for any inconvenience.
The Library’s Choose Civility Initiative began with the premise that we ALL share an interest in creating, maintaining and engaging in shared spaces and shared conversations about our broader community. We have engaged in all kinds of conversations over the last 18 months, some directly reflecting on the idea of civility and some giving us the chance to practice civility while discussing more controversial topics.
As our grant from the Lerner Foundation comes to an end, we will consider various strategies for maintaining Choose Civility programming at the Library. We welcome your feedback about the kinds of programs you like best — send us an email or look for a survey soon!
We are delighted to share the news that Lift360, one of our grant partners, will take leadership on a next phase of the initiative – organizing task forces to implement civic action.
More than anything, though, weinvite you to attend our final “Portland Public Conversation” onDecember 9th at 8:00am(coffee begins at 7:30) to explore these queries in person: what is the status of “civility” in Portland? How might we strengthen our community through individual and organizational practices? Join us for “Picturing Portland” and share your insights and ideas!!!
Below are some of the programs we offered through this grant. What did you attend? What did you like best? What would you like to see more of?
Civic Action in Portland : A Community Conversation
Incivility Fatigue with Professor Dan Shea
Welcoming : Creating More Welcoming Communities, a World Cafe conversation
Welcoming : Posters for Citizenship Ceremony with “I’m Your Neighbor”
Constitution USA : A Film Screening
Capital in the 21st Century Book Discussion // Inequality for All Film Discussion
The Guilty Pleasure of Erotica : a facilitated conversation
Facilitation Workshop offered by Anne Schink of the League of Women Voters
“Creating the Communities We Wish For” with Maine Humanities Council
Active Hope : A Book Discussion
Civic Writing : Workshops on writing letters to the editor, op-eds, blog posts, tweets and more
Civic Education and New Mainers – Addressing the Gaps — a community conversation convened in partnership with LWV
Muslim Journeys – a film series in partnership with Maine Humanities Council
Celebrating the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – coalition programming
Portland Public Conversation Series : Portland’s People, Participating in Portland and Picturing Portland
Join the Choose Civility Initiative tomorrow, November 25th at 7:30 am for a Thanksgiving week public conversation on the topic of “participating.”
(Coffee, Treats & Networking / 8:00am program start)
Thanksgiving asks us to amplify a spirit of generosity and inclusion that we hope to find in ourselves and our communities throughout the year. Despite high levels of perceived incivility in our culture, we also live in a time where “giving” happens frequently, in formal and informal ways. The connection between thankfulness, service and a stronger community is robust — that is, we know that when everyday people give their time and energy to strengthen their communities it serves everyone… but we also know that civic engagement is sometimes easier said than done.
Tomorrow (November 25th) we will share strategies for increasing pathways to civic engagement, share stories of how and why volunteering matters, and tackle some of the obstacles that make volunteering hard. We will also feature a dozen area nonprofits to share a sample of volunteer opportunities available now!Among the organizations participating, we will learn from the United Way of Greater Portland, Maine Animal Refuge League, Learning Works, the Maine Tool Library, League of Women Voters, Lift 360 and more!
Also happening this week: MPBN will offer a special “Maine Calling” on the topic of Thankfulness on Wednesday. MPBN and the Maine Community Foundation are sharing “Voices of Giving” throughout this month, documenting all sorts of reasons that people choose to give their time, money, and other care. Bangor Daily News is sharing stories of people for whom the rest of us “should be thankful.” We offer books on thankfulness, including this wonderful list of poems.
Portland Public Library’s Choose Civility Initiative invites you to engage in conversation about how we can make a difference in our local community. What kind of engagement interests you? What opportunities exist? Where is there need? Also, meet with local organizations that seek volunteers – someone like you!
7:30am : Coffee, treats & networking
8:00am : Opening program — exploring volunteerism’s benefits for individuals, organizations and communities (and the challenges, too!)
8:45 (ish) : Volunteer Resource Fair – Organizational introductions and small conversations. Meet representatives from local organizations and learn about opportunities for participating in Portland.
Confirmed organizations include (but are not limited to) : United Way of Greater Portland; YMCA of Greater Portland; Greater Portland Animal Refuge League; Maine Tool Library; Learning Works; 2Degrees Portland and more!
(*If you’d like to share information about a project or civic engagement effort or opportunity for volunteering, please contact Kim Simmons at Simmons@portland.lib.me.us)
The social justice organization Facing History and Ourselves offers online resources on “Choosing To Participate.” Featuring an online exhibit, in partnership with the Smithsonian Exhibition. Among the questions they ask, is a central query : “How can I make a positive difference in the world?”