Blooming Into Spring

Blooming Into Spring



This year’s TTT was divided into two main sections: our Building Bridges workshop and our Controversial Issues process. The Building Bridges workshop is tailored for youth, businesses, and organizations and is the most familiar of our offerings. No two workshops are the same, however, and going through the Building Bridges workshop with this group was a powerful experience due to the diversity in the room and the wealth of knowledge and experience of the participants.

The last day of training, we walked through the Controversial Issue Process. This process is designed to allow people on both sides of an entrenched issue to express their concerns, to listen attentively to the other side, and then to re-frame the issue in a way that produces action points that all sides can support. At our training, participants decided on the issue of whether or not all gendered spaces should be made gender neutral. This was a topic familiar to some and distant to others with many different viewpoints and by the end what connected everyone was the desire for everyone to feel comfortable and safe when using public facilities.

Some examples of other times we have used the Controversial Issue Process are when the Poverello center was relocating, with Leadership Missoula around the topics of Gun Control & Affordable Care Act, and most recently with the Missoula Food Co-op around restructuring.

The Community Training always brings headwinds of unfamiliar topics, uncomfortable realizations, and heart heavy stories.  But by the end of the third day it was clear that so many of us had agreed it was worth it to open ourselves up to the world and to others a little bit farther, instead of remaining in a tight bud. With spring comes more blossoms!

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