Community Discussions & Dinner Dialogues

Community Discussion Series

The Office of Community Engagement invites members of the W&M and Williamsburg community to come together and discuss important issues in the work of community engagement and positive social change. Each discussion is facilitated by the Fellow for Local Engagement and features a guest speaker with experience on the discussion topic. These discussions are informal, engaging, and open to all.  

Fall 2017 Discussions

Thursdays at 4pm in Blow Hall 3rd Lounge

Poverty - September 14 
How does poverty affect Williamsburg residents and how can the community support and empower those experiencing poverty? With representatives from FISH and Housing Partnerships sharing their experiences, join the discussion about poverty in our community. 

Adult Education - October 5

Many W&M programs connect with K-12 classrooms, but what about students outside that system? Join OCE and community leaders as we discuss why students may drop out and the challenges of furthering education later on in life when trying to receive a GED. We will be joined by professionals who help adults prepare for their GED test in the Williamsburg area.

Backyard Civics - October 26

As college students, how can you engage with local government and practice civic skills? Civic leaders from James City County and The City of Williamsburg will join this discussion on how you can engage in everyday civics while you are at William & Mary.

Food Systems - November 16

Food is something we consume every day, but how much do you know about the food you are eating? Join in a discussion about the sustainability of our food and our local food system. 


Spring 2017 Discussions
Service Year Panel 
January 28 3:30-4:30 Commonwealth Auditorium, Sadler Center

Interesting in making a difference after graduation? Service years provide the opportunity to explore your interests and develop professional experience while working toward a cause you care about. Hear first-hand from current or former service year participants from AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps, Global Playground, TFA, Urban Teachers, City Year, and more! Whether you're looking to May 2017 or interested in hearing about the application timeline for next year, we hope we'll see you there. 

Having Faith: A Discussion of Faith-Based Community Engagement in Williamsburg 

Does faith inform your service? Might volunteering or non-profit work inform your faith? Join The Office of Community Engagement in a discussion of how people from many walks of life in Williamsburg engage in faith-based work. We will be joined by local religious leaders and volunteers from faith-based organizations. 

Getting to the HEART of It: Human Trafficking’s Effect in Williamsburg

Campus and community organizations alike are stepping up to address human trafficking internationally, domestically, and right here in our local community. Join advocates from local non-profit Latisha’s House, as well as students from HEART, and other organizations, to consider the prevalence of trafficking in our community, and what can be done to address it. 

Meet Your Local Representatives!

Ever wondered what City Council is or how it operates? The Office of Community Engagement is inviting City Council members and City staff to campus to talk with students about the importance of civic engagement and participation. Join us for discussion, snacks, and a chance to make your voice heard at the local level.

Be Well, Eat Well - Exploring the Link between Stress and Nutrition 

We all know that maintaining a healthy diet is essential to performance, but many times, stress and outside pressures can get in the way. Come hear Campus Dietician discuss research findings on how stress and nutrition are related and how hunger can impact academic performance.

None of Our Business - Or Is it? How We Keep the Community in Business Planning

How do social entrepreneurs and business owners incorporate community assets and needs into business plans? Hear from representatives from Williamsburg’s Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Authority, and Planning Commission on how decisions are made in local business.



Dinner Dialogues

The OCE hosts structured dinner dialogues, ffacilitated by the Fellow for Local Engagement, which invite participants to listen and engage with each other on topics of community importance while practicing controversy with civility. These dialogues are purposefully small and diverse, with no more than eight participants who represent different constituencies including students, faculty, staff, and community members. Participants utilize reflection, active listening, and dialogue across difference to explore the dialogue topic. 

Fall 2017

If you would like to participate in one of our Fall dialogues, email [[aurbanowski, April Urbanowski]].

September 20, 6pm - The Common Good
September 27, 6pm - Sustainable Futures
October 25, 6pm - Identity 
November 8, 6pm - What I Know for Sure