by Maddie Stanik, Teen Advisory Council, The Launch Pad Teen Center
The Launch Pad Teen Center continues its mission to help Yavapai County be “better together” by encouraging residents to use its discussion guidebook to help ease civil discourse over shared meals.
Hoping to sign up 200 families to use the guidebook quarterly to spark conversation, members of Launch Pad’s Teen Advisory Council (TAC) surveyed community members from May through December on what is on their minds.
Productive conversations are no easy task, and it can be difficult to avoid escalated conflict in discussion without tools that foster understanding and respect.
TAC members have been working to tackle this issue and provide county residents with the resources to promote civil discourse through the Better Together Campaign.
Teens collected almost 1,000 surveys from people throughout the community willing to share the issues they identify as challenging to discuss.
The campaign’s goal is to aid in mending the division that many Prescott residents report feeling within the community, reflected in the survey data showing that one third of participants feel their input is rejected when they speak up about their views on controversial topics.
After analyzing the data from the surveys, it is clear that residents of Yavapai County feel there is strong disunion in our community with over 81% of participants answering “yes,” when asked if they feel there is division in our county.
From the data gathered, TAC teens created a guidebook that outlines the steps to effective communication. It provides communication techniques that encourage empathy and understanding, which can help empower people to voice their opinions.
Starting with the comfort of conversation over a home-cooked meal, the goal of the guidebook is to present the results of our survey and provide the community with communication tools that encourage respect and understanding during our day-to-day interactions, no matter how big or small.
All of the divisive issues presented in the guidebook are taken directly from the results of the Better Together Campaign survey, giving families the opportunity to pick and choose which topics they feel are appropriate and relevant to discuss.
The diversity of our town is what makes it so special, so let’s work together to make it “Everybody’s Hometown” once again, one meal at a time.
Please go to form.jotform.com/223536174823154 to receive a guidebook and commit to quarterly dinner discussions.