In Spring 2017, the Humility & Conviction in Public Life project , in co-sponsorship with the Hartford Public Library and the Wadsworth Atheneum, welcomed the greater Hartford community to share in the creation of the Encounters Series, a program dedicated to fostering unexpected conversations around our most divisive issues.
Encounters has two main focuses: Dialogues and Reading Groups. Dialogues center on particular topics and consist of facilitated, small-group discussions followed by a "question and answer"-style conversation with UConn faculty who specialize in those topics. Readings are provided beforehand so as to better encourage informed and informal dialogue within conversations that often prove to be polarizing, and thus unproductive.
The Spring 2017 Dialogues focused on public encounters with foundational documents that influence civic identity and politics within the United States. Reading Groups intend to open spaces wherein participants can explore critical issues of identity, meaning and understanding with fellow citizens, guided by trained facilitators.