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The “Can We Talk” series began in 2016. This ongoing series is designed to engender productive and respectful discourse here in Concord. The goal is to create opportunities for the community to come together to discuss and learn from what is happening around us.

Since 2016, the CCACE Advisory Committee has promoted and hosted three community forums: Fake News: The Changing Landscape of Journalism in the 21st Century, Conversations in a Civil Society-Agreeing to Disagree, and The Defamation Experience.

CCACE covers the cost of bringing these talks to the community. We charge a fee to help defray these costs. If you would like, you may make a donation to help cover future “Can We Talk programs”.

October 2019 – June 2020:

Unconscious Bias: Interrupting the Cycle*

How do we begin to recognize and acknowledge that we all have biases, that we are part of the problem? In this groundbreaking series of five discussions, we will examine our unconscious biases, understand how to have conversations with others around this topic, and learn tools to use in our daily lives to counteract this.

The series begins with an overview of unconscious bias and how to perceive the topic as a whole. Each subsequent presentation will build on that topic, covering race, gender, and class/culture issues, and ending with a discussion on how to take what we’ve learned and apply it. We hope you will join us, and our five knowledgeable presenters, in better understanding this important topic.

This course will be offered in two sections, a morning section and an evening section. The first session in October will be all together on October 2nd from 7-9 pm. For the remainder of the sessions, section A will meet on Tuesdays from 10 am – 12 pm and section B will meet on Wednesdays from 7-9 pm. Please note which session you are signing up for. Click here for details and to register.

*This program is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library

November 2018:
The Defamation Experience

Join us for a participatory play that is appropriate for audiences of all ages and will be the must-see event of the fall!

The premise is a civil suit: An African American female business owner is suing a Jewish male real estate developer for defamation. The woman was invited to the home of the man for a potential business project. After the meeting, the developer realized that his family heirloom watch was gone.

After the 75-min dramatic testimony, the judge tells the audience they are going to be the jury. A first poll is taken. The choices are for the plaintiff, the defendant, or undecided. The tally is announced and the judge then leads a deliberation. The audience is invited to stay for a post-show discussion.

Learn more about The Defamation Experience.

April 2017:
Conversations in a Civil Society: Agreeing to Disagree
The search for common ground

Join us for a panel discussion by

Moderator: Ethan Hoblitzelle, Social Studies teacher at CCHS

Panelists: Ona Ferguson from Consensus Building Institute, Dr. Robert Munro
from Middlesex School, and Rose Pavlov from Ivy Child


April 2016:
News: The Changing Landscape of Journalism in the 21st Century

Click here to view the program.


David Nurenberg, Concord-Carlisle High School English Teacher, Assistant Professor, Leslie University School of Education


  • Tim Riley, Emerson College, Associate Professor, Department of Journalism
  • Karen Shiffman, Executive Producer, On Point
  • Melissa Zimdars, Merimack College, Assistant Professor of Communication, Department of Communication & Media