Critical Conversations Happening in Wright County

(Wright County, MN)—Critical Conversations, a series of community gatherings started in 2018 by Friends of Renée Cardarelle, will continue in 2019. The goal of the conversations is to bring people together to discuss issues critical to our communities. These conversations were a great success and community members have decided to continue them into 2019.

In 2018, the first of these conversations focused on Women in Governance and Leadership and on Civil Discourse. A third category of discussion, Racial and Ethnic Tensions, was eventually added. This third topic grew into an ongoing monthly conversation in Delano which meets the second Saturday of the month at The 221 on 2nd St from 1 to 3 pm. It focuses on exploring race and ethnicity and how these are often the roots of tension in our communities.

Additional Conversations on a variety of topics are already planned for Buffalo, Monticello, Waverly and Annandale, and new dates and topics are being added continuously.

The goal of these conversations is not to impose one set of beliefs upon all individuals, but rather to discuss how the community can engage in a dialogue around intolerance and hate and learn how to embrace differing ideas and viewpoints. The only criteria the conversations stick to is a set of values developed by the steering committee:

1. We embrace diverse ideas.
2. We embrace all our neighbors.
3. We embrace compassion.
4. We embrace a shared humanity.
5. We embrace win-win conversations and actions.
6. We embrace integrity and pursue honesty and truth.

The ultimate goal is to break down the current tendency to see things through a dichotomy in which there are only two views on a subject which causes people to choose sides. Most problems in society are far more complex and this is a way to explore these complexities.

“These conversations have been a place where people can share their mixed emotions and misunderstanding about topics that are being discussed in our country today. All people are welcome and differing views are embraced as long as they do not go against the values set by the group,” stated Renee Cardarelle, founder of these conversation.

Below is a schedule of conversation dates and times that are already scheduled.

Critical Conversations Schedule

March
March 9, 1 to 3 pm – Ongoing Critical Conversation
The 221
221 2nd St N
Delano, MN

March 12, 6 to 7:45 pm – Women in Leadership and Governing
Monticello Library
200 W 6th St
Monticello, MN

March 16, 4 to 6 pm – Critical Conversation
Waverly City Council Chamber
502 Atlantic Ave
Waverly, MN

March 23, 1 to 3 pm – Civil Discourse: an engagement in conversation intended to enhance understanding
Annandale City Community Room
30 Cedar Court,
Annandale, MN

March 30, 10 am to noon - Racial and Ethnic Tensions
Monticello Library
200 W 6th St
Monticello, MN

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