June 18, 2019 – The West Virginia Center for Civic Life (WVCCL) wants to help citizens start conversations about issues facing the state by encouraging fresh, innovative thinking during its annual Civic Life Institute. The event will be held at West Virginia University at Parkersburg on July 18 and 19, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., respectively, in the College Activities Center.
The WVCCL is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that convenes public workshops and provides resources to help people develop productive ways to address common concerns. Over the past 20 years, the center has partnered with hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals in community-based initiatives to address issues related to the health, education and economic well-being of West Virginia residents, such as What’s Next WV, a statewide initiative designed to help communities plan actions based on their own ideas for building stronger local economies.
“We need to find productive ways to talk to each other, especially when we disagree,” said Jean Ambrose, WVCCL representative. “It is our goal to help diverse sectors in the community develop habits of listening to each other, taking ownership of problems together and working toward solutions that work for all.”
Peabody award-winner Trey Kay, producer of the nationally-recognized “Us & Them” podcast, will lead a session at the institute that explores the cultural issues that often divide us. Following his remarks, participants will experience ways of facilitating community discussion that explore different points of view while working together on difficult issues. “Us & Them” is a joint project of West Virginia Public Broadcast, PRX and Trey Kay Productions.
Also, the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF) is funding scholarships to participants in the institute. Eligible to apply are staff or board members of nonprofits or high school and college students from PACF’s service region: Calhoun, Doddridge, Gilmer, Jackson, Mason, Pleasants, Ritchie, Wirt and Wood counties in W.Va. and Washington county in Ohio.
Peabody award-winner Trey Kay, producer of the nationally-recognized “Us & Them” podcast, will lead a session at the institute that explores the cultural issues that often divide us.