Designing Across Divides a co-creating tool for community change conference dinner was held Thursday night at Spruce Street United Methodist Church in Morgantown.
A free community dinner was held to foster open conversation and one-on-one interaction. Local organizations and restaurants helped sponsor the event providing food and entertainment.
The conference aims to move people past their differences to find common ground using best practices from the design field to improve participants hearing, seeing, and community building skills.
“It’s been said that whenever you get your knees under the same table there is an understanding that grows. And people get a chance to see each other as neighbors, as friends, as part of the same community,” said Rev. Neil Leftwich, Spruce Street United Methodist Church.
The conference allows people to effectively communicate on the issues of governance, religion, race, the environment, economic development, education and healthcare strengthening social connections within communities.
City of Morgantown stated that the conference intends to address overcoming issues that divide people by providing speakers from across the nation who have had success in their endeavors for community change.
“I want to listen, I want to listen to what each and every person has to say how we can be better, how we can improve, what do we feel that those areas that we’re lacking in. See, every voice needs to be heard and respected, and we need to move forward in making things better for everyone, everyone every single person. This is home, this is home to many diverse people, many races, many religions, many gender identities. And what a great, great event when you can have everyone coming from the community. We see that the addiction crisis has taken over, and so when you open up your doors you can open up your heart, when you open up your heart, you can open up your eyes and take off the blinders, but most importantly you can open up your ears and be a listener,” said Danielle Walker, Delegate of Monongalia County.
On Friday and Saturday, registered attendees will be able to hear from local and national speakers, covering several topics from climate change to compassionate listening. Speakers will be live streamed, and you can find a link to hear their discussion for Designing Across Divides here.