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Kansas City Plaza
United States of America

You are invited to a special workshop:

Turning an Uncomfortable Conversation into a Productive One:

Civil Discourse and Critical Thinking

6:30 to 8 pm 
Wednesday, Sept. 29

Aixois (private front room), 255 E. 55th St., at Brookside Blvd.

In our polarized and segregated community, we see an opportunity to improve dialog with those around us – including, welcoming, and embracing those who hold opposing viewpoints. We invite our members to employ tools to demonstrate leadership in creating a truly diverse and inclusive club, and so bring positive social change to the greater Kansas City community. We are people of action, placing service above self.  

Led by expert communicators, this workshop will equip participants with tools to have a productive conversation with faced with uncomfortable ideas. 

  • Learn and practice managing your emotional energy, understanding the difference between responding and reacting in a difficult conversation. 
  • Using discussion, storytelling, role play and participant interaction, this program provides tools for civil discourse, active/empathetic listening, critical thinking and maintaining dignity. 
  • Understand the potential triggers – truth, relationship, identity – that can provoke a response before thinking. Recognize the difference between personal feelings and needs. 
  • Practice moving a conversation from debate to dialog, respecting differences and learning from them. 

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The program is led by Rev. Bethany Ruhl and M. Scott Weaver.

Rev. Bethany Ruhl is manager of Spiritual Wellness at Saint Luke’s Crittenton Children’s Center, which serves children experiencing mental health crises. Bethany is a Board-Certified Chaplain who specializes in trauma-informed care.  She is ordained with the United Church of Christ. As Chair of the Crittenton Ethics Committee, Bethany was recently named an Ethics Champion by the Center for Practical Bioethics for her work on diversity & inclusion during the pandemic. Bethany was a Rotary Youth Exchange Student to Tours, France, and subsequently lived in France several times.  During her seminary career, she won multiple awards for her work with women’s issues and racial justice issues.  

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Scott Weaver is an executive coach and facilitator with Academy Leadership, helping executives enhance performance at all levels by developing leaders who deliver results. In this role, Scott combines his 20+ years of professional experience as a leader in the military and non-profit organizations to assist others in becoming more effective leaders and improving their organizations. He also has 10 years’ experience as a college educator and administrator: U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Army Command & General Staff College, Army Management Staff College, U.S. Army War College.

This event, offered by the Kansas City Plaza Rotary Club’s Justice Committee, is free and open to all Plaza Rotarians and guests. The gathering will be held in accordance with COVID-19 guidance: masks will be required.

Attendance is limited to 50 participants.

To reserve your spot, please RSVP to Nancy Shawver (