19 Grove St. ~ PO Box 58 ~ Peterborough, NH 03458 ~ 603-924-3235 

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Racism In Our Communities: A Community Conversations Series

September 20 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

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Registration Closed. The Monadnock Center will host a series of in-depth discussions on racism this fall. This Community Conversations series, Racism in Our Communities, will take place over three meetings in September and October, break for independent small group discussions over the winter, and reconvene for a conversation in the spring. Facilitators Leaf Seligman and Balmeet Lasky will lead the series.

“We are looking forward to hosting this important and timely series of conversations,” said Monadnock Center director Michelle Stahl, “Racism impacts all of us whether we live in a diverse big city or a small homogenous town. Recent protests and vigils have their place in the dialog but in-depth conversations get us past the slogans so we can develop a deeper understanding. And then we can begin to find ways to make our communities more just and more equal for all.”

A Discussion Series

Racism in Our Communities will be a deep discussion and participants commit to attending the three autumn meetings. The first gathering on Sunday, September 20 at 4 p.m. will be a training session. Participants will design the ground rules of the discussion series, identify topics for the conversations and work together to prepare to discuss difficult subjects in civil, respectful and productive ways. The first gathering will be approximately one hour long. In the event of rain, this session will be held on Monday, September 21 at 5:30 p.m. Participants must attend this training session in order to attend the conversations to follow.

The second and third gatherings will take place on Sunday, September 27 (rain date: October 4) and Sunday, October 18 (rain date: October 25) from 4 to 5:30 p.m. These conversations will take participants into deep discussions of the topics identified in the first gathering. The conversations will ask participants to share their stories and experiences and to listen to the stories of others to develop a greater understanding of how racism impacts our communities and ourselves.

After the third gathering, participants may form small groups that continue the conversation over the winter. The Monadnock Center, assisted by Seligman and Lasky, will provide materials and support for these small group conversations. If the large group decides to reconvene, a third conversation will be held in the spring of 2021.

The Facilitators

The Monadnock Center is partnering with Leaf Seligman and Balmeet Lasky to design and facilitate this series. Leaf Seligman is a local writer, clergy person, college instructor, former jail chaplain, AVP facilitator in prisons, who relies on Nonviolent Communication, trauma awareness and tenderness to practice restorative justice.

Balmeet Lasky uses her teaching and administrative experience, conflict resolution skills, and creative thinking to cross boundaries and build community. She has worked as an academic, a business owner, and a teacher trainer and now spends her time on projects, both locally and internationally, specializing in leadership training for people living in areas of conflict.  


Racism in Our Communities is open to everyone. Pre-registration and attendance at the training session on September 20 is required to participate. The series is limited to 35 participants.

The fall sessions will take place outdoors in the Peterson Courtyard between the Monadnock Center’s main building and the Peterborough Town House. Social distance of 6 feet will be observed and participants must wear masks. Participants are urged to bring a chair or blanket for comfort. Sound amplification will be provided.

***This program now has 35 registered participants and registration is now closed.***



Related Resources and Events

Join the Peterborough Town Library’s Community Big Read of I’m Still Here by Austin Channing Brown.

Click here for details and registration information

Explore the library’s reading guide for additional resources and books on race and racial justice.


September 20
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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Monadnock Center for History & Culture
19 Grove St
Peterborough, NH 03458 United States
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