A school club, community group and nonprofit organization are partnering to offer an opportunity to enjoy good food and the company of neighbors and community.
The forum is scheduled for June 14 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Timberlane Middle School. Organizers say it will include an in-depth look at the role of social media with the goal of facilitating meaningful discussions intended to build strong community partnerships that link individuals, families, communities, organizations and agencies.
Hopewell Valley, like many other communities, has experienced a number of recent challenges. There are worries related to social-emotional health, racism and bullying, as well as public concerns about new development, cost of living, and political direction. Social media can compound polarization and predominant contact with a tight-knit friend group can limit exposure to new people and ideas.
“Our regular potluck dinners and discussions have been a great way to engage with friends,” said Renata Barnes, HVRDDG facilitator. “But we tend to see the same people each time, so we were thrilled when the Global Connections team reached out and wanted to collaborate and expand the circle to include the schools and greater community.”
“Our goal is to raise awareness, enable informed conversations that strengthen connections, and increase resiliency through shared values and a community-based approach that benefits all families,” added David Angwenyi, Global Connections adviser. “We hope relationships formed last far beyond the evening.”
Check in will begin at 6 p.m. Adults and 11th and 12th graders are encouraged to attend. Registration is required by June 10 so organizers can get a headcount for the free program.
The program is sponsored by the Global Peace Foundation, which has been collaborating with community, faith-based organizations, first responders, and law enforcement agencies to train and prevent targeted violence in New Jersey. Discussion may include sensitive subjects such as bias, extremism, radicalization to violence, race and culture.
Hopewell Race & Diversity Discussion Group is a community organization that provides regular opportunities for community members in the Hopewell Valley and beyond to discuss race and racism in brave spaces, and to build relationships with neighbors over a shared meal in an effort to improve mutual understanding. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Global Connections Foundation is a nonprofit that fosters global citizenship by advancing educational diplomacy. GCF strives to broaden high school students’ perspectives by engaging them on global issues of concern and providing them a forum where they can engage with other students from around the world so as to link communities. Contact David Angwenyi at email@example.com.
Global Peace Foundation is an international nonsectarian, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that promotes peacebuilding. GPF engages and organizes a global network of public and private sector partners who develop community, national and regional peacebuilding models as the foundation for ethical and cohesive societies. Contact Wanda Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit globalpeace.org.