Letters to the Editor

On Condemning White Supremacy and Hate Crimes: But First, Let’s Talk

Dear Editor:

In the aftermath of last month’s horrific act of domestic terrorism in our community, several of us wrote a letter, which ended with the questions, “So what do we do? Where do we go from here and how does our community begin to heal? How can we ensure that David Green’s and Ramona Cooper’s deaths were not in vain?”   One of our suggestions we put forth- in addition to educating ourselves on history of racism, anti-Semitism and white supremacy- was to have open dialogue, talk with eachother, listen to each other, and learn from one another; to reach out intentionally to those who are different from ourselves and embrace our diversity. Today, we are pleased to share with you, our Winthrop neighbors, that there is an opportunity to do just that, from the comfort of your own home, next week:

On Tuesday July 27 and Thursday July 29 please join One Winthrop, the Winthrop Police Department, FKO Afterschool, and the Winthrop Commission on Diversity, Inclusion and Community Relations for two evenings of virtual workshops focused on how to have constructive community conversations, led by Essential Partners. The goal of the workshop will be to help you understand what makes conversations across differences challenging and to build on your communications skills so that you feel more confident and competent in communicating across differences.

One small step in helping our community grow stronger and heal from trauma is to learn how to talk with each other, to really hear our neighbors and to understand one another across our differences. We hope you will join us for these meaningful opportunities to gain learning tools to help the town we love so much move forward together.

*Registration is required: Tinyurl.com/LetsTalkWinthrop 

What to Expect

In the workshop, which spans two evenings, you will will learn an approach for creating new conversations (and disrupting old, non-productive ones), develop, through hands on practice and exercises, your ability to listen, ask thoughtful questions, and speak constructively, and build confidence and willingness to engage others across differences. With a new approach to conversation, with some additional communication tools, and with personal experiences of being listened to in new ways, we can begin to constructively engage each other and promote community connection and healing.

About the Facilitator

Brian Blancke Ph.D. is an Associate with Essential Partners and a senior consultant at Vantage Partners, a Boston-based consulting and training firm. He is an instructional designer and trainer in negotiation, relationship management, and influence. Dr. Blancke is also adjunct faculty at Bay Path University’s Master’s in Leadership and Negotiation program, where he teaches a course on three key topics of negotiation—emotions, trust and culture.

About Essential Partners

A nonpartisan 501c3 nonprofit organization, Essential Partners helps people connect across polarizing differences of values, beliefs, and identities. These might be national issues such as gun rights and abortion or local concerns such as housing costs and schools. Through training and consultation, Essential Partners invests three decades of global experience into the capacity of stakeholders to strengthen their own communities, today and in the future. Find out more about EP’s history and approach at whatisessential.org.

This program is funded by a generous grant from the Winthrop Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency and is being made available at no charge to participants. All Winthrop residents are welcome to participate.

We hope that these events are the first of many that can provide a safe, effective platform for our community to grow, ask and explore hard questions with uncomfortable answers, and stand strong- together, against hate. 

Julia Wallerce, Stephanie Rechia, Wendy Millar Page- One Winthrop

Chief Terence Delehanty- Winthrop Police Department/Interim Town Manager

Deborah Kneeland- FKO Afterschool

Suzanne Martucci-  Winthrop Commission on Diversity, Inclusion and Community Relations

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