American Creed Political Dialogue

Last Updated by Chris Norton on
Scranton Public Library


"We had an interesting conversation about what it means to be an American, and it was just really intriguing." - Fatima

Fatima was one of about 40 University of Scranton students and community members participating in a recent American Creed Political Dialogue event at the Albright Memorial Library in Scranton. The goal was to stimulate civic discourse around the themes and issues in the documentary recently seen on VIA and PBS, American Creed. We'll hear from some of the participants, starting with Cyrus Olsen was one of the group facilitators.

"It went very well ... group shared experiences ... intergenerational American experience. Commonalities ... good for everyone." - Cyrus Olsen 

"You know we actually had a lovely discussion .... not polarized ... it was great." - Maria Raymo

"My political dialogue group discussed what it means to be an American.  Too much people debate ... ln debate there's always a winner, but in dialogue people respect each other's opinions, listen to what people have to say."  - Connor Nealon

"Somebody brought up the idea that 9-11 was when we started to feel unsafe ... an interesting experience." - Mary Ann Zimmer

Mary Ann Zimmer teaches at Marywood University, Connor Nealon lives in Duryea, Maria Raymos is from Dunmore, and Cyrus Olsen of Scranton, all among those coming together for civic discourse, political dialogues coordinated by Julie Schumacher-Cohen director of community and government relations for the University of Scranton, and Jessica Serrenti, director of community engagement, Albright Memorial Library. For the final event in the 3-part American Creed series, the library's Social Justice Book Club will discuss Claudia Rankine's award-winning book Citizen: An American Lyric, July 8 at 6:30. Were the political dialogues a good idea? Mary Zimmer thinks so.

“I wish we could meet every week. I think it would benefit everybody ... a lot of people feel unheard ... if there were some safe way it would benefit everybody."


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