The Library and Estes Valley Restorative Justice Partnership host a month-long series to promote collaborative problem-solving, civility, and meaningful conversations.

Colorado communities, especially Estes Park, are known for being pretty darn friendly. But what about when conflict emerges? How can we build skills and access resources to address conflict productively? How would this change our homes, workplaces, and communities? This is what Conflict Resolution Month is all about.

The Library, along with Estes Valley Restorative Justice Partnership, joins agencies and organizations across Colorado by participating in Conflict Resolution Month this October. Conflict Resolution Month is aimed at inspiring Coloradans to focus on solutions, and to focus our intentions by making deliberate choices in solving conflicts constructively.

Join us for themed programs in October and learn a few new conflict resolution skills. On Tuesday, October 4, we’ll kick off with one of our Living Room Conversations. Hosted in person and on Zoom, we will be discussing how we interact with folks we don’t know: the norms, the misconceptions, and how talking to strangers can often go better than we expect. 

On Wednesday, October 12, learn about Nonviolent Communication and rediscovering one another’s humanity. Kathy Ziola, certified trainer with The Center for Nonviolent Communication and owner of Communication Works, will lead a transformational workshop where participants will learn how to change “enemy images” and judgments into understanding and alignment through shared needs and values.

This year’s Conflict Resolution Month book title is The Power of Strangers: The Benefits of Connecting in a Suspicious World and copies are available now at the Estes Valley Library, while supplies last. (Reserve your copy below.) Author Joe Keohane will be hosting a virtual author talk on Thursday, October 20 where he will discuss what happens when we bridge the distance between us and people we don’t know, and how to deepen our sense of belonging. Keohane will dig into a growing body of cutting-edge research on the surprising social and psychological benefits that come from talking to strangers and share tips about how to root ourselves in this world of unknowns. 

If you find yourself wanting more discussion about The Power of Strangers, join the book club on Monday, October 24. We’ll dive more into Keohane’s conclusions and continue to explore how strangers could actually be the solution to our most pressing political, social, and personal problems.

And on October 25, we’ll lighten up with some friendly conversation and local fun with a “Howdy, Stranger!” event at Coffee On the Rocks. Join us to practice, and experience the benefits of, talking to folks you don’t know. Along with free coffee and pastries, we’ll provide conversational prompts to break the ice and structure conversation. Bring a friend, meet new ones, and enjoy getting to know your community.

Looking for an activity to complete at your own pace? Check out the Talking to Strangers challenge. Get out of your comfort zone and meet some new folks — and you could win one of four $25 gift cards to a local business.

Let’s be inspired to participate in productive problem-solving in all aspects of our lives. Learn more about Conflict Resolution Month in Colorado.

The Power of Strangers (Not available)

All The Power of Strangers kits have been reserved