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Community Conversations

United Way of Hancock County is currently scheduling groups to participate in community conversations as a part of its community assessment process. The information gathered at the community conversations will be used to determine the future scope of work of United Way of Hancock County. 

“It is important for United Way of Hancock County to understand the issues facing our community,” said John Urbanski, president and CEO of United Way. “In order to achieve this goal we have been conducting community conversations throughout the Hancock County area. By gathering small groups of people who represent various factions of the community, we facilitate conversations that allow individuals to share their thoughts on where the community is and where it should be going.”
 
These conversations are “kitchen table” style, meaning they are informal and encourage openness to all opinions. Participants are welcome to offer their personal experiences and concerns, covering both the challenges they face and the aspirations they hold.
 
Community conversations will be led by community members, accompanied by note takers. United Way staff may also be in attendance, however their role is only to observe and gather information. 
 
Community conversations can be held at a location chosen by the group. United Way meeting rooms are also available. Community conversations should include a space for 10 – 12 people to gather and face each other. The conversations last approximately 90 minutes, and can be scheduled according to the group’s availability.
 
If a community group is interested in scheduling a community conversation, contact Beverly Phillips, United Way’s community services director, at Beverly.phillips@uwhancock.org or call 419-423-1432. 
 
Want to Volunteer? We need Community Conversation Facilitators
 
Conversation facilitators will lead small group conversations to assist United Way of Hancock County to gain a stronger sense of people’s aspirations for the community, a window into their concerns and lives and create a way to develop or deepen partnerships with non-traditional groups. With this knowledge United Way of Hancock County can be more effective, more relevant, better mobilize people around the issues and have a greater impact in the community. Facilitators will be accompanied by assigned note takers.
 
Training:
Facilitators will be trained on the Hardwood Institute community conversation process.
Initial questions will be provided.
 
Time Frame:
This activity will take place throughout 2014. Conversations will not interfere with your workplace hours.
 
Time Commitment:
Meetings will be scheduled based on your personal availability
Conversations will last up to 2 hours
 
Skills Needed:
Must have group facilitator capabilities
Must be able to work with diverse audiences
Must be comfortable meeting with small groups in nontraditional locations
Must be able to create an open, nonjudgmental environment