Gorton Center - Lake Forest, IL - Belonging: The Science of Creating Connection and Bridging Divides

Belonging: The Science of Creating Connection and Bridging Divides

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Event Series Event Series: FAN

Belonging: The Science of Creating Connection and Bridging Divides

Mon, April 15
7:00 pm
- 8:30 pm


Mon, April 15, 2024 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Little Theater

We live in enormously divisive times. Divisions based on ​​class, politics, race, religion, gender, and nationality are erupting around the globe. The consequences of not having a sense of belonging range from political strife to illness to underperformance at work and in the classroom. Americans have become disconnected from their communities, and about one in five Americans suffers from chronic loneliness, especially young adults. Why is our sense of belonging so undermined? What if there were a set of science-backed techniques for navigating modern social life that could help us overcome our differences, create empathy, and forge lasting connections across divides?

Geoffrey L. Cohen, Ph.D. (FAN ’22), Professor of Psychology and the James G. March Professor of Organizational Studies in Education and Business at Stanford University, answers these questions and more in his extraordinary 2022 book Belonging: The Science of Creating Connection and Bridging Divides. As Prof. Cohen explains, often inadvertently, we behave in ways that threaten others’ sense of belonging. Yet small acts that establish connection, brief activities such as reflecting on our core values, and a wealth of practices that he refers to under the general rubric of “situation-crafting” have been shown to lessen polarization in our politics, improve motivation and performance in school and work, combat racism in our communities, enhance health and well-being, and unleash the potential in ourselves and our relationships. The book’s research is essential for managers, educators, parents, administrators, caregivers, and everyone who wants those around them to thrive.

Prof. Cohen will be in conversation with LeViis Haney, Ed.D., the Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at Adlai E. Stevenson High School. Dr. Haney also teaches principal preparation courses as an adjunct professor at Northeastern Illinois University and Loyola University Chicago, and is a facilitator for the Kaleidoscope Group, a DEI firm based in Chicago.

This event is suitable for youth 12+. It will be recorded but not live streamed and will be available on FAN’s website and YouTube channel.

Gorton Center will take and may use photos and videos from this event for its promotional purposes. Your attendance indicates your consent to the above.