Community Conversations

What’s important in your community right now? What would you like to talk about?


The brand new book will describe my Community Conversations dissertation research whose timeline covered twenty years starting in 1999 when I started studying group dialogues.  The book introduces the use of "Metasphere" my term for creating an interactive collaborative space for fair and open discussion on relevant social issues and local topics of concern that matter most to you and fellow community members. Local efforts can work with educational leaders or any cause effort to co-facilitate these dialogues with community organizations, inviting anyone and everyone to the table to share and listen. Let’s create a truly democratic space where we can connect together through meaningful dialogue!

JOIN US as we launch a Community Conversation facilitator training in your neighborhood!

Using the new training guide -- here’s what you can expect (when you participate):

  • Connect with your neighbors. Make new friends, re-establish older ones.

  • Build & bond relationships in your area by taking the time to talk with other community members about local issues.

  • Stay informed. Get accurate information and build your knowledge around timely neighborhood topics.

  • Bring your voice to the table. Our libraries are open spaces for all sides of an issue to be discussed. When you attend a conversation in your community, you’re sharing an important perspective.

  • Participate in the unique culture of your neighborhood. Speak up and listen in the context of a local dialogue that tells your community’s complex story.



The purpose of the proposed “Covid Community Conversations” project is  to obtain input from a diverse cross-section of the public about the acceptability of possible strategies to facilitate access to vaccinations during this pandemic.


These online community conversations can be designed to help facilitate dialogue and access to resources and: 

  • inform participants about antiviral medications, the challenges of getting them to the public during a flu pandemic, and current planning efforts to address these challenges;

  • gather input about the acceptability and feasibility of possible alternative strategies for the quick, safe, and fair prescribing and dispensing of antivirals in a pandemic, and about strategies for informing the public about pandemic influenza and treatment; and

  • encourage broad participation that includes members of typically vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations.

The goal of the community conversations was not to promote or reach consensus or agreement. Similarly, the themes generated by participants’ discussion during these three workshops cannot be generalized to other populations or communities. Rather, their purpose was to elicit a variety of opinions, concerns, and the participants’ own ideas for the CDC to consider in its subsequent policy deliberations.


The use of this type of public engagement is ultimately advisory. It can help policy makers understand an array of priorities and values that might be important to individuals and to the public at large, and on what issues people differ and why. It also can alert policy makers to areas of potential misunderstanding or distrust, where greater awareness will have to be fostered to promote public acceptance and cooperation when plans are implemented in an actual public health crisis.