The Village Square is set to kick off their latest season of events on Tuesday, October 1st. The newest season, titled “The Year of Living Locally”, seeks to direct some of our attention away from the perplexities of Capitol Hill, and towards our neighbors. The upcoming season is all about local communities, and what we can do to strengthen these bonds.
Tallahassee Reports reached out to The Village Square CEO, Liz Joyner, regarding the development of this year’s theme. She said:
“We’ve increasingly come to see an investment in strengthening localism – in our relationships with each other in the hometown we share – as not only good for our hometown, but possibly one of the best ways to heal the divisions that are disrupting our politics nationally. If we tend to local challenges and work together on a common goal with neighbors from across the political spectrum, we come to know each other as human beings instead of political labels. That simple change of focus can change everything.”
Joyner sees the focus on local as a way to bring conservatives and liberals together. She states:
“Conservatives have long argued for the importance of strong local communities and we see liberals increasingly embracing this wisdom as well. At a time when we’re so divided as a nation, it seemed like something we’re likely to agree about. Ultimately, we’re the ones who decide who we are to each other in this hometown, so we like the idea of dedicating ourselves to becoming neighbors for a year.”
The first event this season is a dinner titled, Local Patriotism: Can we save America by loving our hometown? It will be held at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Tuesday, October 1st from 6:00 to 9:00pm. The panel will consist of Stephen P. Kiernan, author of Authentic Patriotism, and Sally Bradshaw, owner of Midtown Reader. Tickets are available here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/local-patriotism-the-goliath-of-national-dysfunction-vs-the-david-of-local-community-tickets-69338672837
The Village Square, founded in 2006, is a civic organization interested in “raising the quality of civil discourse”. Seen as a way to break away from the echo chambers that dominate political discourse today, they strive to spark conversation from both sides of the aisle. The name, Village Square, was inspired by the actual village centers of Colonial America, where the exchange of ideas was rampant among the blacksmiths, bakers, and farmers who resided there. Far from the influence of the King, the people were free to engage in discourse that benefited them, not the crown. This is the marketplace of ideas that The Village Square is trying to reinvigorate.
Visit, https://tlh.villagesquare.us/, to learn more.