Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Fire Next Time

Thursday evening, the Library will screen The Fire Next Time, a film that "follows a deeply divided group of citizens [living in and around Flathead County] caught in a web of conflicts intesified by rapid growth and the power of talk radio." On hand will be filmmaker Patrice O'Neil who screens this film around the country helping communities come together by talking about tolerance. "I think in 'The Fire Next Time' you see what happens when people stop listening to each other... and how quickly we can become enemies."

Partially in response to the type of behavior portrayed in the film, Flathead on the Move's Turning Strangers into Neighbors project worked with a large group of community leaders to come up with the Principles for Civil Dialogue. This document took many painstaking hours of people listening and contructively criticizing to finally reach consensus on how we should conduct ourselves at public meetings, in our places of work, and out in the community. The Principles of Civil Dialogue are:

·We provide a safe environment where individual perspectives are respected, heard, and acknowledged.

·We are responsible for respectful and courteous dialogue and participation.

·We respect diverse opinions as a means to find solutions based on common ground.

·We encourage and value broad community participation.

·We encourage creative approaches to engage public participation.

·We value informed decision-making and take personal responsibility to educate and be educated.

·We believe that respectful public dialogue fosters healthy community relationships, understanding, and problem-solving.

·We acknowledge, consider and respect the natural tensions created by collaboration, change, and transition.

·We follow the rules & guidelines established for each meeting.

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