New group invites civil conversation

A small group of Grand Haven-area residents think it's OK to disagree - as long as the disagreement is civil. The group is launching the West Michigan Civil Conversation Project early next year to foster "civil' discussions on a variety of topics.
Len Painter
Dec 22, 2011


So far, five area residents have signed on and more are expected to join the project — according to Richard Kamischke, one of the founders of the organization.

“The West Michigan Civil Conversation Project is an effort to increase the civility in our public conversations,” according to the group’s handout. “It is not intended to reach agreement or common ground between the discussants; it is enough to understand the views of other people and understand why they place such importance on them.”

Kamischke, Chris Baker and Cathy Feyt — three members of the group — said the project will be launched Feb. 21 with the first public meeting at 7 p.m. at Loutit District Library, 407 Columbus Ave. in Grand Haven. The public meetings will be held on the third Tuesday of each month.

The group conducted a committee meeting this month, and has another one scheduled for January.

Kamischke said the group already has tested the concept and that members were pleased with the results.

The meetings will have a set agenda and will go from 7-8:45 p.m. Kamischke said the library’s meeting room will be arranged to allow small groups of five or six people to exchange views about a topic.

At the initial meeting in February, the group will present a PowerPoint presentation about the project, sponsors and goals, and what constitutes a civil conversation.

For more information, call Kamischke at 296-9279.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.


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