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.  

Spring 2018 Discussions
Balancing Life, Work, and Active Citizenship - February 1

When creating your weekly schedule it can become overwhelming trying to balance school, work, everyday life and prioritizing active citizenship. Hear from the founder of The Village, Jackie, on how she balances being an activist, starting an organization, and living a normal life. 

Surf and Turf: Environmental Preservation - February 22

From the Chesapeake Bay to the Shenandoah Valley, come learn about different ways you can make an impact protecting Virginia's land and water, featuring Historic Virginia Land Conservancy. 

Engaging with the Aging Community - TUESDAY, March 13 

A major part of the Williamsburg’s community is the aging. Join the OCE and Peninsula Agency on Aging to discuss ageism, and the problems the aging community faces within Williamsburg.

Gender in the Nonprofit Sector - April 5 

While volunteering have you ever noticed a lack of gender diversity? Join the OCE and local community members as we examine the gender differences within the nonprofit sector. 

 Fall 2017 Discussions
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. 

Dinner Dialogues

The OCE hosts structured dinner dialogues, facilitated 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. 

Spring 2018

Effects of Media - February 7 at 6pm
We are exposed to and engage with the media daily. It helps us stay informed but can  also influence our decision making. Join the Office of Community Engagement at a dinner dialogue to discuss the effects of media on our understanding of ourselves and our communities. 

Safety - March 14 at 6pm

Do you have the same understanding of safety as your fellow community members? Join the Office of Community Engagement at a dinner dialogue to discuss what safety means to you, and how safety is understood across communities.

Limits - April 11 at 6pm 

Join the Office of Community Engagement at a dinner dialogue to discuss the positive and negative effects limits have in our lives and how we can grow from them. 

Fall 2017 
September 20, 6pm - The Common Good
September 27, 6pm - Sustainable Futures
October 25, 6pm - Identity 
November 8, 6pm - What I Know for Sure