Promoting love over hate is a core part of Up with People’s mission.
The group put that idea into action Tuesday at College of Coastal Georgia, where they conducted a civility workshop with a group of college students.
The workshop, titled “Text, Talk, Revive,” taught active listening skills and provided participants with a chance to practice having civil conversations on topics that spark disagreements.
“It’s just about civility. We’re going to try to make them think about how they interact with other people and, when they disagree with other people, how they can handle that,” said Hidde Meurs, an Up with People cast member who helped lead the workshop. “You can get pretty angry and have different kinds of emotions, but we try to keep it civil so when you have a conversation with other people, you listen to them and then you take turns sharing opinions.”
Up with People is a traveling performance group made up of international cast members that represent 18 countries.
The group will be in Glynn County until April 2 and will perform its 2018 Live on Tour production at 7 p.m. tonight at Brunswick High’s gym.
Up with People’s cast members are also spending their week meeting and engaging with community members during service projects and other events.
About 10 cast members helped conduct the workshop Tuesday.
“Everyone is distributed at different community action points,” Meurs said. “We get to do the most we can in the cities we go to because we spread out as much as we can.”
The group tries to meet the needs of the community during its visit, said cast member Lovisa Hornell.
“We go to different volunteering sites throughout the community, for what’s needed and such,” she said. “We came to the college today to do this workshop to benefit the students.”
During the workshop, they encouraged the students to keep an open mind and to learn how to engage with those whom they disagree.
“It can be quite difficult to argue with someone about an issue that you feel strongly about,” Hornell told the college students. “That’s what we’re going to do today, is think about how to disagree in a civil manner.”
Allison Lyon, the assistant dean of student life at CCGA, said the collaboration with Up with People for the workshop fit well into the college’s ongoing “Let’s Talk Coastal” program, which aims to encourage students to have a dialogue about current social issues.
“We were just trying to find ways to engage,” Lyon said. “It’s really great for students from all over the world to get to come and interact with our students in Brunswick.”
Up with People will offer the same workshop at the Boys and Girls Club in Brunswick on Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets for Up with People’s show tonight are sold at The Brunswick News, 3011 Altama Ave. in Brunswick, and the Golden Isles Convention & Visitors Bureau, 529 Beachview Drive, St. Simons Island. Tickets can also be purchased online at upwithpeople.org/glynncounty.