Council hosting cultural conversation

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Naugatuck’s Cultural Council hosted its second annual Culture Night March 15 at Naugatuck High School. The council will now turn its attention to its first Community Conversation on March 31. –LUKE MARSHALL

NAUGATUCK — Naugatuck residents will soon be given an open forum to talk about what they love or want to change about their community.

Naugatuck’s Cultural Council is hosting its first Community Conversation on March 31 to allow residents to voice their concerns and appreciations about their town.

During the event, trained facilitators will engage participants in small group discussions focused on issues of cultural diversity in Naugatuck

According to Sandra Heller of the Cultural Council, the conversation is meant to facilitate people of different backgrounds coming together to discuss what Naugatuck means to them and the directions they want to see the town move in the future.

Heller said that each person has a different experience and view point to share about Naugatuck. One experience that Heller feels that people need to discuss is how welcome they felt when they moved into their particular neighborhood.

From there, Heller would like to see people get to the point where they are asking how they can be a leader in their community.

Mayor Bob Mezzo encouraged residents to attend the conversation.

“Your participation will assist the Naugatuck Cultural Council to identify and access cultural views, learn about Naugatuck’s diversity and create relationships, and develop leadership at all levels of our community. As a lifelong resident, I can personally attest that Naugatuck is at its strongest when people from different backgrounds take an active role in civic life,” Mezzo wrote on his blog.

Heller would like to see people taking an active role in civic life as well. She explained since Naugatuck has such a diverse population boards that are homogeneous do not feel inclusive to the residents.

The event ties in with the Cultural Council’s mission statement, which is to recognize and celebrate the numerous heritages that comprise the American experience in the borough of Naugatuck. The Community Conversation is open to the public and all are welcome.

“It is going to be challenging. People have to take a risk to come in and sit down, but it will be a bonding experience,” said Heller.

The Community Conversation will take place from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. March 31 at Naugatuck High School, 543 Rubber Ave.

For more information, contact Mayoral Aide Ed Carter at (203) 720-7208 or ecarter@naugatuck-ct.gov.