In an ever-changing society, it is important to be able to speak openly with others about the differences among us and how to overcome them. In order to provide people with the tools they need to do so, the City of Morgantown is partnering with several organizations, including West Virginia University, The Greater Morgantown Interfaith Association and AIGA Pittsburgh, to host the Designing Across Divides conference at the WVU Creative Arts Center from March 28-30.
The ability to effectively communicate on issues of governance, religion, race, the environment, economic development, education and healthcare strengthens social connection and allows us to draw on diverse skill sets to address common challenges. This conference intends to address overcoming these things that divide us by providing speakers from across the nation who have had success in their endeavors for community change. Additionally, the conference will hold nine workshops where attendees can try new projects together.
The conference will open with two free public programs taking place on Thursday, March 28. First, keynote speaker Antionette Carroll will speak about her experience providing healing through the Creative Reaction Lab to the cities of Ferguson and St. Louis, Missouri in the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting. Carroll’s presentation takes place from 5-6 p.m. in the Lyle B. Clay Concert Theatre.
The second free public event is a community dinner on March 28 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Spruce St. United Methodist Church. This community dinner is being held to foster open conversation and one-on-one interactions. Local organizations and restaurants are sponsoring the event and will provide food and entertainment.
Following the free public events, on Friday and Saturday, registered attendees will be able to hear from local and national speakers, covering a number of topics from climate change to compassionate listening. The cost to attend additional conference events is $75. Speakers will be livestreamed on the Designing Across Divides web page, Facebook page, and YouTube channel, and can also be accessed after the conference.
The public is encouraged to attend the conference’s free public programs, and to register to attend additional workshops that the conference is offering. For a complete list of speakers and topics, and to register for the conference visit designingacrossdivides.org.