GVSU Education Programs News

Talking Together collaborates across differences

April 17, 2023

Talking Together collaborates across differences

It's fitting that the final Talking Together event takes place during the National Week of Conversation.

Lisa Perhamus, Director of the Padnos/Sarosik Center for Civil Discourse and Associate Professor of Educational Foundations, said Grand Valley is a hosting partner for National Week of Conversation and the April 20 event is virtual, allowing more people to participate.

"It is very exciting to be a part of the national bridge-building movement in this way," Perhamus said. "We began the whole idea of Talking Together because we wondered how to make a big impact for this week. We then dreamed bigger and envisioned dialogue programming throughout the year rather than just one week, and the idea of Talking Together was born."

Talking Together is a yearlong series of discussions and workshops coordinated by four campus entities: Padnos/Sarosik Center for Civil Discourse, Kaufman Interfaith Institute, Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies, and WGVU Public Media.

The April 20 event, "From Talking Together To Working Together: Strengthening Our Communities Through Putting Talk Into Action," runs from 7-8:30 p.m. It features panelists who will discuss opportunities and challenges of community-based advocacy and how they collaborate across differences. RSVP to receive an email with the virtual link.

Panelists are listed below.

  • Meg Derrer, executive director of the Refugee Education Center, representing Freedom Flight
  • Kendra Avila, housing manager, AYA Youth Collective
  • Janet Zahn, co-chair, Grand Rapids Climate Coalition
  • The Rev. Lynette Sparks, senior pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church, representing Together West Michigan
  • Aaron Turner, director of development, WGVU Public Media, will serve as moderator

WGVU Public Media has begun televising spring Talking Together programs. Program information can be found on the Talking Together website.

Talking Together event takes place during the National Week of Conversation


The article photo by Kendra Stanley-Mills shows Lisa Perhamus speaking at an earlier Talking Together event.

This story was originally posted on GVNext. For more information on this story, contact Michele Coffill in University Communications - (616) 331-2221.

Share this news story

View More GVSU Education Programs News

Page last modified April 17, 2023