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K-State Today

April 5, 2018

Center for Engagement and Community Development hosts 'Powerful Dialogues' Engagement Symposium

Submitted by April Mason

Building on the momentum of #KSUnite and Living Democracy events, the Center for Engagement and Community Development is dedicating its April 12 annual Engagement Symposium to the issue of polarization and its antidote through "Powerful Dialogue."

Annually, the center offers the Engagement Symposium as a means of sharing examples of community/campus collaborations that address critical civic issues. In 2017 the "Reconstructing Civility" symposium featured a range of presentations and workshops across disciplines demonstrating a widespread need for social cohesion in a post-election year.

This year, negative reaction by the public to extremist rhetoric and hard-line positions appears to be opening doors for renewed collaboration sectors to "get work done."

Building local capacity for collaboration is the goal presented by keynote speaker Martín Carcasson of Colorado State University’s Center for Public Deliberation. His talk, "From Wicked People to Wicked Problems," will launch the day's events, which include interactive workshops and discussion panels on how K-State engages with community partners in problem-solving across community division.

A workshop focused on depolarization using the Intercultural Development Continuum will occur at mid-day and an evening participatory forum at the Manhattan Public Library on affordable housing will conclude the day’s events, but not the conversations that a diversity of visitors and local contributors have begun in many projects.

Students, staff and faculty are encouraged to select sessions to attend that pertain to specific interests, whether they work in humanities/arts communities, focus on development and planning, or handle conflict in various sectors. Opportunities for networking and interaction in every session will enhance participants' awareness of community-engaged activities they may join, or ideas they may explore in new efforts.

All events are free and open to the public but registration for seating at the keynote event, noon workshop and affordable housing forum are encouraged.

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