Have you ever felt left out, rejected, harassed or even bullied? Have you ever wanted to intentionally hurt someone else with thought, word or even action? Nearly everyone can say yes to at least of those questions.
Pursue Extension’s “All In: Building Positive Communities,” initiative is a unique approach to empowering individuals to combat ostracism, social rejection, and harassment in meaningful ways at the community level.
Beginning Feb. 10 a series of three seminars will be held in Rensselaer to create awareness, of the harmful effects of social rejection and provide a forum for community members to gather and work with individuals of shared interests to formulate a plan to make our communities more inclusive.
The first session will be in the ballroom at Saint Joseph College’s Halleck Student Center, February 10 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. with the doors opening at 6. Dr. Kip Williams, professor of Psychology at Purdue University will discuss his research in Ostracism and the effects it has such as poor school and work performance, anger, depression, and much more. Participants will be able to evaluate the effects on ostracism and see ways to create a more positive environment.
The second week, Feb. 17, participants will have the opportunity to view a film in the comfort of the Ritz Theater in downtown Rensselaer. The film, Reject, will be shown at 4:30 and 7 p.m. with the doors opening at 4 p.m. You may choose what session to attend. This award winning film blends cutting edge scientific research with real-life stories that demonstrate a chilling correlation between social rejection and physical pain.
Finally on Feb. 24, participants will again gather at Saint Joseph College’s Halleck Student Center Ballroom for roundtable discussions with others who have similar interests or roles in the community to discuss the impact of the previous weeks and develop a plan of action to prevent negative behaviors that exclude others.
What ideas will be formed? What new or revised programs will be developed to help the community? This is unknown. What we do know is that in two pilot counties in Indiana good things are happening. If we can work together to improve the community and raise our children to be caring adults, it is a good thing. If we can improve moral in the schools and the work place it is a good thing. If we can save the life of one individual, it is a good thing. If we can guide one person to reach new heights then it is a good thing.
The African proverb says “It takes a village to raise a child.” All adults in Jasper County are encouraged to participate in this series. Persons who work with children and youth in any way are particularly encouraged to attend. We also encourage anyone who supervises individuals in the workplace are encouraged to attend.
For more information contact Purdue Extension, Jasper County at 219-866-5741 or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you in February!