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Peoria Speaks Allows Public to Tackle Important Topics

By Roberta Koscielski

The Peoria Public Library discussion program, Peoria Speaks, focuses on topics of interest to Peorians and provides an opportunity for civilized discussion.  Each month a community “expert” provides an overview of the featured topic and then the floor is open for questions and discussion. 

The program is funded by Illinois Humanities, a group that works to build dialogue across all sectors of society. Their goal is allow people to examine issues important to democracy in the focus areas of public policy, media and journalism, economy, and art. Using the humanities as a tool to stimulate discussion, they create experiences across Illinois through programming, events, and grant making to engage a diverse public on ideas and issues that matter. The humanities are the examination of what it means to be human through the interpretation and discussion of all forms of thought, interest, and expression.   

For many years, Peoria Public Library has been fortunate to receive funding through grant programs offered by Illinois Humanities.  Current funding being received by Peoria Public Library from Illinois Humanities is through their Illinois Speaks initiative which helps individuals, groups, and organizations create gatherings for public dialogues about issues that matter in their communities throughout the state.  Funding provides compensation for discussion leaders and to cover refreshments and outreach.

Upcoming featured discussion leaders and topics:

Thursday, June 13 at 6:00 p.m. at North Branch
Tahari Allen, Outreach Coordinator, OSF Strive, will introduce OSF Strive, which provides counseling and support for people who survive or witness violence. 

Tuesday, July 2 at 6:00 p.m. at Lakeview Branch
Kathryn Endress, Director of Epidemiology and Clinical Services, Peoria City/County Health Department, will introduce the importance of immunizations.

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