How do we bring people together when it feels like our society is breaking apart?

That is one of the big questions we will address at the Oak Park Public Library on the evening of Thursday, April 4, when we welcome Rich Harwood, president and founder of The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation.

Rich, who is also the creator of the “turning outward” approach that is so integral to our work here at the library, is visiting Oak Park as part of a year-long, multi-city tour to discuss how communities can get on a more hopeful path. His keynote, “Building Community in Today’s World,” will address the searching questions with which so many of us struggle.

For example, how can we unleash a greater sense of shared responsibility among us? How can we be a part of something larger than ourselves to truly make a difference in our communities? And how can we personally find the courage and humility to take such a path?

As Rich has said, “People are looking for a trusted voice who can provide a clear path for how to channel their frustrations, energies, and aspirations to get on a more hopeful trajectory. We will need to be ruthless in our pursuit of hope in order to rediscover what we share in common and actively build upon it.”

Please join us for this public discussion to inspire hope and encourage action to build community on Thursday, April 4, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake St. Learn more and RSVP at

David Seleb 

Executive director, Oak Park
Public Library

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