Conway Conversations brings community together to discuss social issues

The University of Central Outreach and Community Engagement Department is hosting its second Conway Conversations event to bring people together to create dialogue about topics that effect us all differently.


Lesley Graybeal, from the department, said the theme for this talk is “Getting Out of the Boxes: Racing Toward Communication, Connection and Community.”

“Basically, what we meant by ‘getting out of the boxes’ was racial or ethnic categories or identify,” she said.

This specific topic, Graybeal said, was identified after the first talk in the spring. She said participants selected race as a subject area they wanted to explore during future events so organizers made it a priority for this event.

“We were just trying to really get a sense of what the group was [going to want] going forward,” Graybeal said. “I just think that race was [the one] that resonated the most.”

In today’s societal climate, she said there’s a lot of demand to have these type of conversations with one another.

“I think that people really want to understand their neighbors and make their community a better place,” Graybeal said.

She said she thinks, generally, people appreciate the opportunity to get together and talk about these issues that are important to them.

“It’s really just an opportunity for Conway community members to come together and meet someone different than them and engage in meaningful dialogue,” Graybeal said.

The talks — which need to be had between one another — originally began when they did a civility circle with the UCA community on campus.

“We just wanted to take that out into the community,” Graybeal said.

Those opportunities to bring together the university and others beyond it is like the bread and butter of what their office does, she said.

“I think [Conway Conversations has] been a great opportunity to do that,” Graybeal said.

Refreshments will be provided and an optional service project will be available after the program.

The event will start at 7 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Faulkner County Library and is free and open to the public. Those interested can RSVP at



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