'Be My Neighbor' workshop in Brentwood-Darlington
It wasn't an ordinary neighborhood association meeting that brought a group of residents to Brentwood-Darlington Community Center on the evening of March 19.
They came to participate in a hosted discussion called "Won't You Be My Neighbor? How Relationships Affect the Places We Live".
"We invited this program to our neighborhood because we need to connect with our neighbors," explained Brentwood Darlington Neighborhood Association Chair Chelsea Powers. "This workshop gives us a space to do this, and leads to conversations – getting our residents productively talking, in ways they otherwise might not have thought about."
The meeting's facilitator, Jen Mitas, told THE BEE that she offers this 90 minute workshop to groups and communities all over Oregon, to "facilitate conversations about big questions". It's underwritten by Oregon Humanities' "The Conversation Project".
"A couple of these 'big questions' include: 'What does it mean to be inclusive?' 'What does it mean to be a good neighbor?' The best thing that can come from something like this is leaving people reflecting on how to go a little deeper into their neighborhoods and into their relationships with their neighbors."
As the workshop began, Mitas asked, "What is something you would want your neighbors to know about you?"
As a group, the attendees delved into questions such as:
· How well do you know your neighbors?
· What is neighborliness?
· What is missing from our neighborhood?
· How might we collaborate with our neighbors to fill some of those gaps?
Participants didnt leave the meeting with any pat answers; but many of them took away new ideas about how to get people talking about things that will benefit everyone in the neighborhood.