Building Community in Polarized Times

By Andrea Schrock Wenger , Director of Advancement

All faculty and staff took part in a half day Zoom seminar on building community in times of division before school started. David Brubaker, organizational consultant and dean of the school of social sciences and professions at Eastern Mennonite University, facilitated.

The input gave context for how communities, churches, families, and organizations experience division when the broader culture is divided, as the United States is in many sectors now.

“As we head into election season, we wanted to create space for healthy dialogue and practice skills for listening well while remaining true to our own convictions,” explained Paul Leaman, head of school. As always, he noted, “EMS joins school with families and faith communities to encourage students to develop and express their values and convictions.”

Maria Archer, K-8 principal, presented an updated school-wide policy, “Navigating controversial issues.” The policy says that teachers are responsible to create a culture of trust and safety where basic human rights are honored and where varied perspectives are heard with respect.

To read more about the seminar and policy, go to

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