EngagePerspectivesStudents Praise ‘Can We Talk?’ Forums as Rare Outlet
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Students Praise ‘Can We Talk?’ Forums as Rare Outlet

Worried Big Tech and social media have gotten a little out of control?

Wondering what can be done to push ahead on social justice after all those marches and speeches last year?

Afraid this democracy thing is in a little trouble – but ready to share a great idea you have to help fix it?

Mulling what the flap over the Meghan Markle interview says about our attitudes towards privilege and mental health – and how that might connect to your life?

students gather for discussion on divisive political issues
Photo Credit: Don Henry, taken at a Can We Talk event in January, 2020

These and other issues of modern life will be on the table as students from Penn and other campuses across America gather at 7 p.m., Thursday, March 25 on Zoom for the second Can We Talk? dialogue of 2021 and the fifth of the academic year.

If you’re a student – undergraduate, graduate, professional – at any college in North America, you’re invited to take part.

These are structured, moderated dialogues designed to help you have the kind of enjoyable talk that’s hard to find these days – and to give you tips about productive conversation that you can put to use in class, at home, online, with family or at work.

You can sign up here for this free, two-hour event.

More than 400 students from more than 25 campuses have participated in Can We Talk? since it started in 2017. Here’s what some of the 42 students who took part in the fourth Can We Talk? of this academic year on Feb. 18 had to say about it:

  • This was the most enjoyable virtual event I’ve attended in the Zoom age.
  • I loved that it brought people from different backgrounds together to experience something incredibly meaningful.
  • I want to work in a mostly male-dominated field, and after experiencing this forum, I now know how to go about voicing my opinion when surrounded by men.
  • I learned a new way to think about my political views.
  • I loved the ground rules. I am drawn to replicate this in spaces that I lead.
  • I liked that it was not just my university; the audience was large and diverse.
  • I really think I made some friends for life even though I disagree with some of their viewpoints.

You don’t have to be totally up on the news or issues to take part. The dialogue is driven by your experiences and values; it’s not a current events quiz. We will share some prompts and background links with you in advance, in case you want to check them out and get prepared.

Questions? Email canwetalkphilly@gmail.com

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