What if We Could Talk About Anything: Hope for Meaningful Conversation in a Divided World

Dates: October 27, 2023

Meets: F from 9:00 AM to 12 N

Location: GRAND RAPIDS - BIK 230-235

COURSE: $49.00

Sorry, we are no longer accepting registrations for this course. Please contact our office to find out if it will be rescheduled, or if alternative classes are available.


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Is there hope for coming together in our increasingly divided world? This workshop will focus on how to develop practices for engaging people across various kinds of divides. Several circle formats will be presented from the field of restorative practices, which have a proven track record of use in many different contexts to cultivate curiosity, build empathy and promote meaningful conversation across issues that divide us. The workshop will be interactive, with opportunity to practice what we are learning.


  1. Participants in this workshop will be able to discuss the interconnectedness of humanity and how meaningful conversation is an important part of living into that reality.
  2. Participants in this workshop will be able to name three key practices identified by Jim Henderson and Jim Hancock for crossing differences.
  3. Participants will gain a working knowledge of how circles might be used in various contexts.


SWCE Policies

Payment & Registration

  • Payment is due upon registration. If a participant registers for a course and has not paid the registration fee, we will send a reminder email to pay the fee. If there is no response and the fee has not been paid within 7 days, the participant will be dropped from the course and may re-register and pay if space is available.
    This policy is to ensure equitable access to courses that have high demand and long waitlists.
  • Registration Deadline: Three days prior to the program by 5pm.
  • Waitlist Policy: Our social work programs, excluding the DHHS programs, may fill up due to interest in the content. If the course becomes full, we will have a limited wait list. Those who get on a wait list for a course, you will be notified as soon as possible if a seat becomes available and payment must be made upon enrollment. When the typical registration period ends two days prior to the begin date, all those on the list will be notified we can no longer accept people into the class.


  • Participants may cancel their registration at any time by calling our office at 616-331-7180 or emailing learn@gvsu.edu. Participants seeking a refund must cancel their registration at least 48 hours prior to the program. You may either receive a full refund back on your card, or we can place a credit on your account for a future program. Refund requests received within 48 hours of the program are not eligible for a refund. If GVSU needs to cancel the event, participants will receive a full refund.

Social Work Continuing Education Credits:

  • Participants seeking Social Work Continuing Education credits will need to arrive by the start time of the program, and must stay until the end. Partial credit will not be awarded.
  • Participants must complete the post-event evaluation to receive SWCE credit.
  • Certificates will be emailed to participants 1-2 business days after the program. Participants who have not received their certificate (and it is not in their spam/junk folder) should email learn@gvsu.edu.
  • Grand Valley State University School of Social Work, an accredited social work education program, is authorized by Administrative Rule 338.2965 to award Michigan social work continuing education contact hours.
Fee: $49.00

Fee Breakdown

FeeCOURSE$ 49.00
Fee-AlternateGVSU Field Education Supervisor$ 36.00
Fee-AlternateGVSU Faculty/Staff$ 15.00


A parking pass will be emailed to you two days prior to the event. Please see the link below for maps to Grand Valley State University locations: https://www.gvsu.edu/maps.

Building Address:
Bicycle Factory
201 Front Ave. SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Bonnie Nicholas

With an undergraduate degree in Psychology, Bonnie went back to school, earning a Master's degree in Social Work in 2003 from Michigan State University. In 2020, she retired from her position as Director of Safe Church Ministry for the Christian Reformed Church in N. America, which included helping regional teams across the U.S. and Canada address abuse awareness, prevention and response within a church setting. In addition, she has studied at the International Institute of Restorative Practices, located in Bethlehem, PA earning her Graduate Certification in 2021. And she received training and certification as a 3Practice Circle leader in 2022. She lives with her husband, Jim, in Shelby, MI on 22 acres of woods, which she enjoys in all seasons.