A community partnership committed to health & wellness in Adams County, Pennsylvania focusing on Mind, Body, Spirit & Community
Community Wellness Connectors
Community Wellness Connections has a series of monthly columns in the Gettysburg Times to highlight and celebrate people or organizations that bring people together: Community Wellness Connectors! We invite you to help celebrate the people who unite us. Do you know an individual or a group that brings a diverse array of people together in an activity that fosters holistic well-being? We’d love to hear about them.
This is not just about physical fitness, though we applaud that! We’re also seeking your insights about people or groups who bring us together to support any of the aspects of well-being: mind, body, spirit, or community. You can tell us about them at email@example.com. We will feature a Connector monthly in the Gettysburg Times with some information about their activities.
Below are Community Connectors featured in Gettysburg Times!
In July 2021, we point to Dialogue Action Circles, an effort of the Center for Youth and Community Development that is new and developing. CFY is the home of Collaborating for Youth, After School programs and summer camps, and other programs that seek to strengthen families and the communities that bind them. I learned from Andrea Dolges, executive director, that staff and volunteers of CFY recognized how difficult it had become for many in the county to engage in open, comfortable conversations about culture, race, and community. Since the goal of CFY is for every child to have the same opportunity to reach their full potential, they began to seek ways to foster healthy conversations about these tender topics. As a result, two Dialogue Action Circles have been piloted, with plans for the conversational circles to continue and grow. A Dialogue Action Circle is a small group (perhaps 6 to 12 people) that meets weekly for 75 minutes over about 6 weeks to share their personal stories and perspectives about culture and race. There is no set curriculum that is being imparted. Instead, people converse about their own lives and, in doing so, develop more understanding of themselves and of the experience of others. Local facilitators are present to help foster an atmosphere of trust and safety in the group—and once people get to know each other as people, they are able to speak more freely and open to learning about the world of someone who might see things differently.
Attendees from the first two circles felt that they emerged from the experience with a sense of satisfaction that they had been able to tell their own stories and had also grown in their perspectives. CFY is planning a new round of Dialogue Action Circles soon. The first two groups were held on Zoom due to pandemic concerns, but the hope is to meet in person when that becomes advisable. Everyone is welcome; the only requirement is a willingness to share perspectives peacefully and honor the value of each person. You can find out more about CFY on their website, cfygettysburg.com, where you can also click the Dialogue Action Circles tab to register.