THE REMEDY PROJECT TO HELP IMPROVE COMMUNICATION AND STRENGTHEN THE COMMUNITY
Our community, like too many others, is divided over too many issues. We are in danger of losing the ability to work together to solve problems, promote the common good, and strengthen our community for the future. The Remedy Project seeks to heal divisions, promote better communication skills and improve decision-making. Three listening sessions are planned for this fall to engage people in this community-wide effort.
Earlier this year, the Cook Family Foundation sought grant requests for efforts to promote civic engagement and strengthen democracy in Shiawassee County (for link please click Here). The first effort is the Remedy Project, which was developed by local leader, Kari Krantz (Selleck), in conjunction with leadership from the Center for the Study of Citizenship at Wayne State University.
“After leaving public education administration a few years ago, I have wanted to give back to my community in new ways,” said Krantz. Worried about the divisive climate that has permeated our community and several public forums, she sought the expertise of professionals who help leaders develop new communication skills. The Project will provide support and training to, first, heal existing divisions, then help people hold meaningful conversations. Ultimately, the Project will improve the ability of organizations and the community to hold productive deliberations as they address complex issues.
“The Remedy Project centers on the premise that good people are trying to navigate the increasingly dangerous terrain in which we now find ourselves,” said Krantz. “We all need to expand our listening skills and get better at facilitating productive conversations. Positive engagement is a bedrock of our democratic process.”
The Remedy Project offers a comprehensive plan to help local leaders and influencers become part of the remedy for the present state of communication in the community and the country. The Remedy Project is not political or religious; rather, it is designed to be a safe and inclusive program of professional development opportunities for people from all aspects of the community. Anyone who regularly holds small or large group meetings with people to make decisions is encouraged to become involved. Business and industry, non-profit organizations, public institutions, healthcare, governance boards, labor unions, restaurants, churches, local government, and more, are invited.
Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership President, Justin Horvath, praised the premise of the project as it answers a corporate and industrial need. “I see a direct connection to some of the communication challenges corporate leaders have expressed to me. Particularly in attracting and retaining quality employees – new hires want to be listened to and have a voice within their work environment, and generational gaps in communication frequently cause dissatisfaction and turn-over. The Remedy Project offers much needed professional development to address this pressing challenge”.
The Cook Family Foundation is providing funding for the first phase of The Remedy Project. After the completion of Phase I, The Remedy Project will organize monthly training sessions for individuals and organizations looking to share and apply the communication skills learned. Later in 2022, participants in The Remedy Project will seek to bring the community together to celebrate common values, improve community dialogue, and promote non-partisan democracy at the local level.
During Phase I, people will come together in expert-facilitated sessions, to listen to one another to begin to heal from present divisions. These two-hour evening sessions are free to attend, with participants receiving a small gift certificate of thank you for committing to being part of the solution. Participants are asked to meet the following criteria:
- committed to supporting positive change in Shiawassee County;
- desire to learn new skills and apply them in the community;
- willing to listen to others who may or may not have similar beliefs or values;
Sessions will be held in Owosso on October 21 and November 9 and in Durand on November 18. To register for one of these workshops please fill out the form below.
For additional information about The Remedy Project, request an introductory presentation, or to sign up to participate in Phase I, please contact Kari Krantz, The Remedy Project Coordinator, at [email protected] or (989) 277-6531.