Forum Agenda

City of Newton Youth Commission Forum |  June 21, 2016

City Hall  |  Newton, MA  |  June 21 2016

FREE EVENT/No Registration Required

 Addressing Diversity and Equity in Our Community 

4:00-4:15      Welcome and purpose setting

4:15-4:40      Introduce facilitators 

                         - Setting the stage (see below)  

                         - Ground rules

                         - Icebreaker: qualities of inspiring leadership (Adults and students together)

4:40-5:00      Visioning: Teamwork: expectations, challenges, approaches

5:00-5:45      Solution-Focusing: Teamwork: expectations, challenges, approaches 

6:00-6:45      Open discussion/next steps (Adults and students together)

6:45-7:00      Closing open discussion/next steps


Proposed Ground Rules for Participants

   •  Speak and listen respectfully

   •  Respect time limits (1 min per speaker)

   •  Don’t speak twice before all who wish to speak have spoken once

   •  Leave politics/arguments/prejudice outside

   •  No photos/videos during discussion

   •  If you don’t respect these guidelines, you will be escorted out


Content: Setting the Stage

   •  We live in an extremely diverse area

   •  We see each other but don’t often communicate

   •  We may not understand each other & may operate out of stereotypes

   •  This is a great opportunity to connect, learn, & grow

   •  We believe you want the best for each other

Introduction of the Dialogue:

“You have probably come to this meeting with hopes for solutions.  But we are focused on
creating sustainable growth, and as such we do not believe, nor should you, that we will come to a solution this evening that will work for everyone in the room.  We are here to facilitate peaceful solution-oriented conversations.  These conversations will focus on listening to one another, creating a sense of unity, and working toward a sense of one community.  We are asking you not to give up your identity or change your beliefs but rather to partner with us to create the framework for productive conversations with each other and pave the way for future work together”. 



   1. Divide into small groups of 6-8

   2. Engage in the visioning exercises for 20 minutes

   3. Come back together for large group gathering

   4. Join back with your group and combine with one other group to examine the
       solution-focused questions for 20 minutes

   5. Come back together for large group gathering

   6. Engage in conversation to create agreements for future meetings 

   7. Closure


Visioning exercise:

   • What kind of resources do young people need as leaders of community building
      processes in Newton?  

   • What kind of resources do teachers need in supporting youth leadership? 


Solution-Focusing Questions:

   • What is the goal for ONE Newton?

   • Draft a SWOT analysis for the diversity work 

   • Draft a poster or a short PSA that promotes an event as part of this campaign.  

   • What images will it include? 

   • What will it say? 

   • Storyboard.


Keeping with the energy from the visioning exercise and solution-focused questions, we will develop agreements for future conversations.