Day 7 – “Let’s stop talking and DO something!”

By Debilyn Molineaux How many times have you heard (or perhaps said) “I’m tired of talking about it. Let’s DO something!”?   How do you decide what action to take? And know that it’s the best action possible?  I used to work for an organization that moved to action quickly — and often had substandard results. Why?  Because they followed the “ready, shoot, aim” approach. In other words, they valued action at the expense of

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Day 6 – Cultural and Campus Connections

by Sophie Beren Penn State was the site for Table Talks Global’s hosted conversation during NWOC. The event was on College Green in the main area of campus and attracted hundreds to come stop by and try different cultural foods and meet people from a variety of backgrounds to discuss cultural differences on campus. In the comfy inflatable couches, students talk about their lives and challenges. For instance, one student discussed her experiences being a

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Day 4 – Allowing Grief

by Debilyn Molineaux One minute we are doing our homework or washing dishes or driving our car and then suddenly, something unpredictable and violent happens. And nothing will ever be the same. We’ve shared national tragedy through natural disasters, deadly shootings and random violence in our cities. And some tragedies we’ve endured alone or with small groups—such as the loss of a loved one to addiction, illness or accident. When these moments rip the stability

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Day 2 – Storms and Shelters

by Debilyn Molineaux Have you ever been aware of a coming storm? It’s that feeling when you are outside, enjoying the sun and a few stray clouds come in, then the wind picks up and suddenly, you just want to get inside. There’s a storm coming. It may be a thundershower that passes quickly through, sharing enough rain to help things grow. Or it may be a tornado that’s about to rearrange and destroy the

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Let’s start talking — Day 1 of National Day of Conversation (NWOC)

by Debilyn Molineaux Today’s the day. For what?  A day to begin talking with friends, neighbors, co-workers and even people we don’t know about things we care about.  And we deeply care about a lot of issues, including the strength of our democratic republic, itself.  At our most fundamental level, we all long for a more fair and just society. Yesterday, I was lucky enough to tour Montpelier–the ancestral home of James Madison, fourth president

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FAQ for National Week of Conversation

What is it? One week in which people all over America participate in conversations that prioritize understanding the other across political, social-economic and cultural divides. Individuals will participate at public events or in private groups in libraries, community centers, schools, clubs, online video conferences, restaurants and homes. National media coverage, social media campaigns and participating organizations will build awareness and engagement. Why now? We can turn the tide of rising rancor and deepening division. Each

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Don’t Settle for Fake Belonging

by Debilyn Molineaux We human beings have an intense — an inherent — need to belong to a group. In our “cave days,” it was important for the survival of our species to be connected and work together. As we’ve evolved, physically, emotionally and societally, belonging has been equally important to our survival. Our community provides acceptance, support, and values. It’s the “something bigger than ourselves” that provides meaning to our lives. Belonging and connection

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