Webinar series offers tips on news sources, conversations on 'hot button issues'

Kent Weeklies

Tired of today’s divisive rhetoric and political polarization? Frustrated by misinformation, disinformation, and the fact that lies travel faster than truth? The League of Women Voters Hudson, the Hudson DEI Alliance, and George Mason University’s Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, are hosting a free webinar series on tips for navigating the wide array of news sources and applying respectful and positive communication techniques when discussing hot button issues. The sessions use a variety of sources and topics from recent news headlines.

“One of the missions of the League is to encourage members of the community to become actively involved in issues that are important to them,” says Carol O’Connell, president of the League of Women Voters of Hudson, a sponsor of the webinar series. "This series of workshops will enable people to determine for themselves what may or may not be accurate information which O’Connell says “is crucial to having respectful conversations about difficult topics.”

These sessions will take place Jan. 11 and 20 and Feb. 4 from 7 – 8:30 p.m. While the skills and strategies build on one another, participants are welcome to participate in any of them. Miss one? They will all be recorded and placed on the Hudson DEI Alliance web page.

Week one (Jan. 11) will cover the SMELL Test and the skill of effective listening S stands for Source. Who is providing the information? M is for Motivation. Why are they telling me this? E represents Evidence. What evidence is provided for generalizations? L is for Logic. Do the facts logically compel the conclusions? L is for Left out. What’s missing that might change our interpretation of the information?

Week two (Jan. 20) will cover effective internet searching and the skills, moving from positions to interests and understanding the other perspective.

Week three (Feb. 4) will cover sources for fact-checking and tips for managing news on social media as well as the skill of engaging in constructive, difficult conversations.

The sessions will be facilitated by Dr. Juliette Shedd, the associate dean and an associate professor at the Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, George Mason University and Jennifer Batton, the education coordinator for the LWV Hudson. Additional details and registration information can be located under the “News and Events” at www.HudsonDEIAlliance.org.

Questions can be directed to Jen Batton at hudsondeialliance@gmail.com.