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Active Hope

posted: , by Kim Simmons
tags: Programs & Events | Recommended Reads | Adults | Teens | Seniors | Art & Culture | Government

Active Hope : A facilitated conversation

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Spring — a season of renewal, a season of mud.  April seems to me to be a perfect time to engage in reflection about what sustains our civic engagement when the cold persists, the mud tracks in, the rain falls.   We keep at our community projects in part because we believe that the sun will shine on us again and that the outcomes will be meaningful and worth our time and attention. However, we also keep volunteering or keep on with activism because the alternative is to give up a sense of optimism and connection and even identity…. Activism is an antidote to despair about civic problems, but even the most intrepid activist experiences discouragement, frustration and burn-out at times.

This 2-part workshop stems from work by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone and their book Active Hope,  but it is not necessary to read the book to participate! We will also draw on many other resources, included some shared here.

We are offering two distinct sessions – come to one or both!

Saturday April 12th 10:15am – 12:00pm — Meeting Room 5 –> explore the spiral of the work that reconnects including our biggest concerns for the future and our greatest hopes.

Tuesday April 29th 3:30 -5:00pm — Meeting Room 5 –> explore exercises designed to help sustain hope during dark times and to promote individual and collective self-care without encouraging a turning away from social problems.

Both of these public conversations are intended as starting points – an opportunity for developing and sustaining an Active Hope group will be considered by the group.

Free and Open to the Public - Preregistration is requested to help us plan.


Science of Character – March 20th

posted: , by Kim Simmons
tags: Programs & Events | Recommended Reads | Adults | Teens | Kids & Families | Seniors | Art & Culture | Health

On March 20th, a national project organized by Let It Ripple will launch community conversations about the “Science of Character” all over the country.  PPL’s Choose Civility Initiative is pleased to screen the 8 minute video.

Thursday, March 20 – 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Location: Main Library – Rines Auditorium
Bring your lunch!
  • What character traits do we value the most in ourselves and in others?
  • What kinds of character building experiences do we offer our kids, ourselves, and each other?
  • What kind of projects might we support as we build the character of individuals and our larger community?

If you can’t make it to our public conversation, consider participating online through social media (#CharacterDay), by reviewing Let It Ripple’s online resources or check out a book from PPL’s Choose Civility collection!


Black History Month Offerings

posted: , by Kim Simmons
tags: Programs & Events | Adults | Teens | Art & Culture | Government

Beginning tonight, the ACLU of Maine, in partnership with our Choose Civility Initiative and NAACP Portland Branch, will host a Civil Rights Era Film Festival at the Portland Public Library.  This event occurs as part of a larger series of events aimed at helping us better understand the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in historical and current terms.  Click here for a  full list of events or visit the ACLU’s Facebook page.

Civil Rights Era Film Festival at PPL (all screenings are free and open to the public) :

Thursday, Febuary 27, 6:30 pm: In the Heat of the Night
Friday, February 28, 6:30 pm: A Raisin in the Sun
Saturday, March 1, 2:00 pm: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
Saturday, March 1, 5:00 pm: To Kill a Mockingbird

Next week, the conversation about our racial history, present, and future continues with a Maine Humanities Council and Space Gallery offering :  “Race in a Networked World.”

PPL’s City of Readers offers this book list  for those interested in exploring African-American history through fiction, while a quick search of “Civil Rights Movement” yields great non-fiction resources.

Black History Month offers us all an opportunity to better understand the complexities of race in our country and to consider our current role in addressing and dismantling discrimination that persists.  How are things similar or different from 1964? Come to our film fest, and then weigh in on Facebook or the comments section!

In the mean time, enjoy this trailer for Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner:

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