Human Connections Project

 Human Connections Project

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Faith in Community Restored

Experience your neighbors in a new way.

  • A series of 4 Connection Events that bring you face-to-face with someone unlike yourself.

  • Experience empathy and understanding with those who are different.

  • A safe space beyond the politics of our differences.

The Human Connections Project is a four-month series of connection events designed to create a safe space for people to connect with others who are different from themselves. You can participate by attending one or more events. Progress through all four events to experience meaningful connection and see yourself grow in empathy and understanding of others who are different from yourself!

In our present hyper-polarized social-political climate, now is precisely the time to conduct this project. We need to change the way people engage with those who are different than themselves. We need to change the local, regional, and national conversation about who is our neighbor and who is an enemy. It’s not healthy right now. We need this.
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Connection Event #1: Human Library - CANCELLED

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UPDATE: I've got some bad news. Although we've been excited for the Human Library this Saturday, June 22nd, earlier this morning my father passed away. He had been in the hospital ICU for the past 3 months and I had been there with him really 4-5 times per week. We explored the possibility of hosting the event without me but we realize we don't have the capacity to pull it off. Unfortunately, we've come to the conclusion that we need to cancel (or postpone, we'll see) the Human Library scheduled for this Saturday. I really appreciate your support for our work in our community and I hope you understand. I apologize for the inconvenience if you had been planning to come.

Regards,

Eric Leocadio, Human Library Organizer


The project launches with a Human Library event that will allow you to browse a diverse selection of “human books” (people),  and to “check-out” the books in 15-20 minute intervals to listen, learn, and ask questions in a non-confrontational format. Human books will choose aspects of their own life to share, create a book title for themselves, and stand-by to be checked out by you. You will be introduced to a framework for having inquisitive conversations.

DATE: June 22, 2019 - 11:00AM - 3:00PM - CANCELLED
LOCATION: 12907 Hadley Street (at Comstock), Whittier, CA 90601, Outside Courtyards
COST: Free for all attendees.

Possible Human Books:

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  • Transgender Person

  • Immigrant

  • Cancer Survivor

  • Former Prison Inmate

  • HIV-Positive Individual

  • Individual with Disability

  • Police Officer

  • Corporate Executive

  • Migrant Worker

  • Cosplayer

  • Former Prostitute

  • Drag Queen Performer

  • Gay/Lesbian Couple

  • Bisexual Individual

  • Buddhist Monk

  • Muslim Imam

  • Megachurch Christian Pastor

  • Individual with Mental Health Issues

  • and more! 

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Connection Event #2: 1 Course

In the next month, we will host a 1 Course event where you will be seated in pairs to share a single meal course together. You will rotate to a new pair combination after each course during the three-course meal (appetizer round, entree round, dessert round). You will be asked to utilize the framework for having inquisitive conversations.

DATE: July 27, 2019 - 6:00PM - 8:00PM
LOCATION: 12907 Hadley Street (at Comstock), Whittier, CA 90601 (Fellowship Hall)
COST: Free for Participants (RSVP required so that we can plan food accordingly.)

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Connection Event #3: 1 Meal

In the following month, you will have an opportunity to sign up for the 1 Meal event. You will share an entire meal with a strategically assigned participant who is demographically different from yourself.  

DATE: August 17, 2019 - 6:00PM - 8:00PM
LOCATION: 12907 Hadley Street (at Comstock), Whittier, CA 90601 (Fellowship Hall)
COST: Free for Participants (RSVP required so that we can plan food accordingly.)

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Connection Event #4: 1 Challenge

At each of the previous three events, you will be given contact cards to give to each person you engage with. During the last month of the series, you will be asked to choose 1 person among the contact cards you’ve collected, and to independently connect with them during the 1 Challenge event. (If the person is not available, just choose another.) You will be asked to schedule your own meet-up (coffee/tea or a meal) in a public place and to inform us of the date, time, and location. While you choose 1 person for this challenge, you may be invited by others. It’s up to you to accept or politely decline (you can say you’re not available to connect).

DATES: September 2019 (you choose the date with your partner)
LOCATION: You choose the location with your partner.
COST: Each person pays for their own beverage/meal.

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Project Video Viewing Party

You will be asked to complete a survey at the beginning of the Human Library event as well as at the end of all four connection events so that we can measure the project’s impact. You will also be asked to debrief on video throughout the project (completely voluntary) so that we can document the span of connections being made. The video footage for the 4 month series will be edited down and we’ll gather everyone back together again for the Project Video Viewing Party! This will be an opportunity for everyone to reconnect then engage in a community dialogue about cultivating empathy and understanding within our community.

DATE: November 16, 2019 - 6:00PM - 8:00PM
LOCATION: 12907 Hadley Street (at Comstock), Whittier, CA 90601
COST: Free for attendees (RSVP required so that we can plan for food and refreshments.)