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Great Meetings – Free Training on February 8th

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

Meetings are an essential element to community work.  Most action is made stronger through the engagement of more people, the shift to collective action, and collective action usually requires meetings.  There are some great resources to help those planning meetings make them better but nothing beats an in-person training session!

To that end, the League of Women Voters of Maine and Portland Public Library’s Choose Civility Initiative  are pleased to offer two FREE facilitation workshops.  Seating is limited, so save your space for one or both by registering here Feel free to share this information with others.

Saturday February 8th  at Portland Public Library Main Branch, Meeting Room # 5 

 9:30 – 11:30 :   Never Another Useless Meeting : Meeting Facilitator Training

This training is intended for those just beginning to convene meetings AND those with a lot of experience who would like to share support and gain new skills.  The focus will be broad enough to include core facilitation skills for all kinds of meetings – big and small, public or private.

11:30 – 12:30 :  Lunch break – on your own (brown bags welcome)

12:30 – 2:30 :  The Balancing Act of Candidate and Issue Forums : From Design to Day-Of Details

This session will focus on the range of issues to consider when convening a community forum to discuss election issues, including candidate forums and forums on particular ballot questions.

Both sessions will be conducted by Anne Schink,a consultant in volunteer management, training, and facilitation offering services to nonprofit organizations, public entities, and faith-based organizations. From 1995 to 2009 Anne was the Program/Training/Disability Officer at the Maine Commission for Community Service. In 2007 Anne received the CVA designation from the Council on Certification in Volunteer Administration.   Anne currently serves on the National Board of the League of Women Voters.

For more information, contact Kim Simmons, coordinator of Choose Civility Portland at  or 207-871-1700 or Karla Wight at  or 207 210-6572

No Name Calling Week

posted: , by Kim Simmons
tags: Programs & Events | Recommended Reads | Adults | Government

One Today by Richard Blanco

Last year on this date, Maine poet Richard Blanco shared his poem “One Today” at the Presidential Inauguration.  The poem reminds us of all we share :  “One ground. Our ground… ” and reminds us that our differences also shape our uniquely personal path:

All of us as vital as the one light we move through,
the same light on blackboards with lessons for the day:
equations to solve, history to question, or atoms imagined,
the “I have a dream” we keep dreaming,
or the impossible vocabulary of sorrow that won’t explain
the empty desks of twenty children marked absent
today, and forever.

In the end, Blanco reminds us that it is our collective vision, spirit, effort and attitude that will shape our collective future.

It is much this same message that No Name Calling Week proffers — a message to youth and adults and to the institutions within which we learn and work  to embrace kindness and make it active… to Choose Civility in a big way.  To resist a bullying culture is not just to punish those who cross the line but to develop strategies to encourage and enhance empathy in ourselves and our communities.

The GlSEN site offers many resources for engaging young people in conversations about bullying and about kindness — their suggested reading list is here.

Portland Public Library offers many provocative and helpful materials as well — a small sampling is here but a reference librarian can help you find just what you’re looking for!

Join us on Thursday January 24th for an evening of “Kindness Shorts” including winners from Kindness The Movie‘s video contest and an opportunity to watch Blanco read “One Today.”


The Camden Conference

posted: , by Sonya Durney
tags: Adults | Government | Health | Science & Technology

Portland Public Library would like to thank the Board of Directors of the Camden Conference for their generous donation to PPL; allowing the Library to purchase a collection of books and films related to the conference’s theme: The Global Politics of Food and Water.

Click here to browse the books and films now available at PPL for those who wish to explore this important topic further.

The Conference convenes on Friday evening, February 21, with the keynote address at 8PM, and continues on Saturday, February 22 from 8:30AM – 5PM and again on Sunday, February 23 from 9:00AM-12:30PM.

The 2014 Conference will provide a provocative look at the global dynamics of managing the world’s food and water resources at a time when the challenge to meet the ever-increasing demand has never been more critical. By 2050, our planet’s population may have grown by two billion, while other factors, including climate change, may have greatly reduced land and water resources essential for food production. The world will have to produce even more food without more land and with less water.

The Conference will address several issues related to food and water, including the contentious debate between industrial agriculture practices and small-scale farming operations; food security issues dependent on international cooperation; and innovations that encourage more productive farming and fishing.

Having outlined the issues, the Conference will examine options that can be considered by governments and citizens to promote secure access to food and water in sustainable ways. Throughout the weekend, enlightening presentations by leading international experts will cover promising policies and practices now being used in China, Africa, and North America.

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