This year, the OSU Extension Master Gardener Program is sponsoring an evening discussion on January 18, 2021 from 7pm-8pm, as one small part of OSU’s 39th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Celebration. This Zoom event is open to Master Gardener volunteers, and is intended to provide an opportunity to reflect on Dr. King’s legacy, and our programmatic commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
How the Discussion Will Work
The discussion will be divided into three parts:
- We will start with introductions and housekeeping tasks. Since this event is being hosted as a meeting, and not a webinar, we want to make sure that folks understand how to mute and unmute their microphone, ask a question or add a comment, where to go for technical help, etc. If you are new to using Zoom, you may want to join a test meeting, to practice using video and audio, before the event.
- We will then present a series of five questions to the group, and will ask you to share your perspectives. We’ll first direct everyone to an electronic bulletin board that we’ve pre-populated with the questions, so that everyone has a chance to share. A benefit of this approach is that it takes away some of the awkwardness of speaking up in a Zoom meeting with many folks in attendance. An added benefit is that you will also have a chance to read how others respond. After taking a few moments to share, we’ll reconvene as a group, and reflect upon and discuss the question, with the broader knowledge of how individuals across the group responded.
- We will end with a call to action. We will share some of the great work being done by our Master Gardener colleagues in Rhode Island, and invite you to consider how you might bring some of these efforts into your own work as a Master Gardener volunteer.
Expectations for Civil Dialogue in Community Spaces
During our discussion, we will be adhering to some basic ground rules for civil discussion. These include:
- Sharing time equitably to ensure the participation of all.
- Listening carefully and not interrupt.
- Keeping an open mind and be open to learning.
- Respond to differences respectfully.
In addition, it can be helpful to review the differences between debate and dialogue, and to truly focus on the opportunities that dialogue spaces can offer. As one of my friends has said: “Listening is a super power. Trust and relationships can make almost anything possible.” (Claire Horner-Devine).
|is oppositional: two sides oppose each other|
and attempt to prove each other wrong.
|is collaborative: two or more sides work together towards common understanding.|
|has winning as the goal.||has finding common ground as the goal.|
|lets one side listen to the other side in order to find flaws and to counter its arguments.||lets one side listen to the other side to understand.|
|defends assumptions as the truth||reveals assumptions for reevaluation.|
|causes critique of the other position.||causes introspection of one’s own position.|
|defends one’s own positions as the best solution and excludes other solutions.||opens the possibility of reaching a better solution than any of the original solutions.|
|Creates a closed-minded attitude, a determination to be right.||creates an open-minded attitude, an openness to being wrong and an openness to change.|
|prompts a search for glaring differences.||prompts a search for basic agreements.|
|involves a countering of other position without focusing on feelings or relationship and often belittles or deprecates the other person.||involves a real concern for the other person and does not seek to alienate or offend.|
I look forward to seeing some of you at our discussion on January 18th, and thank you for all of the work that you do as Master Gardener volunteers.