Harborside Chats – Grays Harbor County

Hello, my name is Sarah Little and I serve as the Public Experiences Coordinator for Timberland Regional Library. I wanted to share about this opportunity for community members of Grays Harbor to participate in dialogue and share about their desire for Grays Harbor. 

Growing up in Aberdeen, and Grays Harbor County I look forward to meeting new members of our community. When I received an invitation for a learning opportunity in small group facilitation skills, where I was going to be part of a one year process of listening to our community, I jumped at it.  I am honored to be part of this Grays Harbor Harborside Coach as part of my role at Timberland Regional Library. Through this program I have been given the tools to learn along side other professionals from our community who are also passionate and want to learn how to open our dialogue with each other and create spaces to listen to the hopes, dreams and needs of our community.  

As part of the Timberland Regional Library Strategic Plan under the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, we are able to partner with local agencies and organizations to support diverse communities through this program. At these Harborside chats, we have been able to connect with a wide range of members who make up Grays Harbor County. 

Q: What is Harborside Chats?

A: Harborside Chats are two-hour long, monthly community dialogue sessions taking place throughout Grays Harbor. These round table style chats are supported by dispute resolution specialists and trained community members. We've designed a unique blend of dialogue, networking, and learning. The people at the chat, with the help of facilitators, will decide what issues they would like to talk about with each other. These trained Community Members come from many of our community organizations within Grays Harbor.

Q: What are the conversation topics?

A: The participants themselves at the Harborside Chats will decide what topics to discuss. We will help guide the Chat, creating an opportunity for healthy dialogue between community members about what issues they deem of importance to the community, however, we’re not proposing the topics.

Harborside Chats Reports: Dialogue Project’s Harborside Chats spark community discussions on local issues. Each session will yield prioritized lists of what needs action in our communities. These reports, valuable for transparent communication, reflect community voices and guide future initiatives. Click here to explore our post-event reports for a snapshot of lively discussions and a deeper understanding of community engagement—the gateway to voices shaping our community's future.

Q: What can I expect to take place during a session?

A: Harborside Chats is a unique blend of dialogue, networking, and learning. We will start with a structured 1:1 conversation, developed by our partners at Braver Angels, a national cross partisan organization focused on depolarization. Our moderators will then facilitate a healthy dialogue between community members about what issues they deem of importance to the community. If you’re curious to know what these sessions can look like, check out this video from the DRC Executive Director. 


Q: Why this project now?

A: Living alongside others who hold beliefs that are different to their own is a part of being a member of a smaller community like ours. Yet, the skills needed to protect this value are eroding. In our dispute resolution work, we have observed that talk has gone beyond disagreement and we hear that people increasingly don’t see ways to discuss issues in their community and lives. Our intention is to build bridges through healthy dialogue.



Our next Harborside Chat is happening Saturday April 13th, 10am-12pm at the Grays Harbor Public Heath Department:

  • This event is free! Registration is not required but a ticket secures your spot. Get yours here! Please be mindful of the limited spots available and arrive at least five minutes prior to the start time. Arrivals later than 5 minutes before the event begins will be considered a no-show. Released tickets will open up opportunities for other community members to participate. Arrivals after the start time won’t be allowed entry to the session. Registration deadline: Friday, April 12th by noon. 
  • Doors will open at 9:45 am, join us for coffee snacks, and connection time, get settled and we will begin the Chat promptly at 10 am. Participants can expect to take part in an activity with a conversation partner followed by a facilitated round table style dialogue.
  • We will have two $25 cash prize raffles for you to take a friend out and continue the dialogue!
  • For those who prefer to prepare in advance, click here to access the Golden Rule Conversation guide - an activity we will be participating in at the outset of our time together. Check it out ahead of time or consider arriving a little early to delve into it. While we'll cover this information during the session, we recognize that some folks appreciate being able to prepare.
  • ACCESSIBILITY: At The Dialogue Project, we are dedicated to creating events that are accessible, inclusive, and welcoming to all. We strive to make our events as accessible and inclusive as possible. If you have specific accessibility needs or questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 360.532.8950 or email at drchgp@drcghp.org seven calendar days prior to the event to make arrangements. Your comfort and full participation are our top priorities.

To learn more about more upcoming Harborside Chats as we tour Grays Harbor County: visit the DRC of Grays Harbor & Pacific County website.

Meet the hosts of the Harborside Chats: The Dispute Resolution Center of Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties (DRC) is the local mediation center! Located in Aberdeen, the DRC has offered highly skilled mediation and Conflict Resolution Services since 1999. In addition to Conflict Resolution Services, the DRC offers community training, and Restorative Circles. In their work, they have observed discourse has gone beyond disagreement and people increasingly don’t see ways to engage civically. The DRC’s purpose for holding these sessions is to strengthen our community through healthy dialogue.