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Hopedale - Local Town Pages

‘Community Conversations’ monthly at library

Discussions center around local, national, worldwide topics

By Theresa Knapp 

Last May, groups of area residents started gathering at the Bancroft Memorial Library monthly to hold “Community Conversations” in which they discuss various topics of interest at the local, national, and international level. 

Community Conversations is a structured discussion group format through A Project for America which says, “Regardless of what you believe or where you fall on the political spectrum, we’ve all seen disagreements pull apart our communities, friendships, and families.” [] 

Gregory Habel of Hopedale for Change said members of his group started attending Community Conversations in Franklin in 2022 where they met a facilitator who then helped start the Hopedale group. 

Each month has a different topic and a different moderator. Attendees are requested to sign up in advance at the library, but drop-ins are welcome. 

“Topics are moderated by a person in the group and are held in a circle for a friendly, open, conversational experience; everyone is given the opportunity to be heard. To date, all of the discussions have been respectful and interesting,” Habel said. “With so much division within the United States today, our goal is to get people respectfully talking again in person, even though we may disagree about solutions to topics. We are hoping this will help decrease the divisiveness that is so prevalent in the country today. Afterall, everyone’s voice matters.” 

Past topics have centered on freedom, civic engagement, Hopedale through the generations, removing statues, and renaming holidays. 

The topic for the March discussion will be the Middle East Conflict. 

Community Conversations is held on the first Wednesday of each month (March 5) at 6:30 p.m. in the downstairs function room at the Bancroft Memorial Library. If you are interested in attending, advanced signup is preferred (by contacting the library) but drop-ins are welcome