The first dialogue circle series put together by the newly formed grassroots civic group, We the People Warwick, concluded with candid feedback from participants via anonymous survey with the aim of continuous improvement.
Common themes and “big takeaways” from the series included:
· The critical importance of dialogue;
· Listening to learn;
· Understanding how much we have in common despite our differences; and that
· Even small actions are meaningful.
This aligns with We the People Warwick’s mission which is to foster dialogue, greater understanding and common ground to ensure that every person feels welcomed, heard and supported in the town so many love.
We the People Warwick organizers asked how what was discussed will affect their daily lives and responses were overwhelmingly positive. They pointed toward the possibility of meaningful change in our community. Common responses included:
· Expansion of awareness (both of oneself and others,) of our differences and our commonalities;
· Newly discovered or rediscovered openness, willingness and comfort in engaging in dialogue about even difficult topics; and
· Looking forward, a desire for further action and involvement with We the People Warwick initiatives.
Areas of program content, facilitators, length and frequency of meetings, and meeting format, were rated with an overall average of 4.5 out of 5.
To meet in person
Participants were also asked for input on how to improve future dialogue circles. It was no surprise that many people would prefer to meet in person.
In an abundance of caution, the next round of dialogue circles will be held via Zoom, but it is the group’s hope and intention that the “action forum” which follows this next series will be in person in early November.
According to the group, the far and away most common suggestion for improving the We the People Warwick dialogue circles is to attract a greater diversity of participants. Organizers said they will be making a concerted effort to do just this for fall series which begin mid-October.
To learn, share your experiences or express your viewpoints, visit this online form https://bit.ly/InterestWTPW or email firstname.lastname@example.org.