In October, Peter White Public Library will be launching a new quarterly series entitled Community Conversations. Supported by a fund from Bob and Meredith Kulisheck, the series seeks to foster meaningful discussions regarding local, state, national, and international topics that affect our community.
“Thanks to the generosity of the Kulishecks, PWPL has an incredible opportunity here,” Marty Achatz, Adult Programming Coordinator for the library, says. “We can provide a platform for truly constructive dialogues about topics that may divide us, hopefully building bridges of empathy and understanding.”
The first topic Community Conversations will address is school bullying. “Since the school year is just beginning, we thought it would be a perfect time to talk about this issue,” Achatz states.
To facilitate this inaugural conversation, on October 4, 2022, Dr. Amanda Nickerson will be meeting with local school officials during the day and delivering a community keynote address in the evening. The evening event will also be livestreamed.
Dr. Nickerson has served for 11 years as the Director of the University at Buffalo’s Dr. Jean M. Alberti Center for the Prevention of Bullying Abuse and School Violence. Her work focuses on school safety and building up the social-emotional strengths of youth, emphasizing bullying and other forms of violence and victimization. Dr. Nickerson has published over 100 journal articles and book chapters, authored five books, and conducted over 300 presentations on this subject. In addition, she is a licensed psychologist, nationally certified school psychologist, and fellow of the American Psychological Association.
“I am so grateful for the involvement of Dr. Nickerson in this conversation,” says Achatz. “She has been one of the leading experts on the subject of bullying abuse for over a decade. Her insights will be invaluable.”
Achatz says that future topics for Community Conversations are already being discussed. “I see this series as something tied very closely to what is going on in our world right now. The Kulishecks have given us the gift of being able to learn together and talk with each other. That’s what community is all about.”