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Online Campaign Aims to Weave Community During COVID-19 Crisis

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Groups that promote unity and social harmony are encouraging Americans to find ways to connect despite social distancing. (#WeavingCommunity)
Groups that promote unity and social harmony are encouraging Americans to find ways to connect despite social distancing. (#WeavingCommunity)
 By Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - MA - Producer, Contact
May 5, 2020

BOSTON -- A new online campaign called #WeavingCommunity aims to confront the social crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Their website, weaving.us, gives tips on ways to connect and to show folks care about their communities. Pearce Godwin, co-director of the Listen First Project and the National Conversation Project, said the third pillar of the campaign is called "create."

"We're asking all Americans to create that world that they want on the other side of this pandemic," Godwin said. "Not the world we had before. Not returning to the same normal but creating a world that indeed is better."

The campaign aims to help the country learn from this pandemic, use this time to heal our divisions and create the social connection that democracy needs to thrive after the crisis. The site showcases online spaces that facilitate connection - such as Listen First Project and the Aspen Institute's Weave: The Social Fabric Project.

Dr. Anne Fishel, director of the family and couples therapy program at Mass General and associate professor of psychology at the Harvard Medical School, is also executive director of the Family Dinner Project. She said the stay-at-home order could have a silver lining if more kids get to have a nightly meal with their families.

"They have better vocabularies, they do better in schools, they are healthier, have lower rates of obesity, depression and anxiety, substance abuse and eating disorders," Fishel said. "So there's lots that can be gained by regular family dinners."

The Family Dinner Project has posted a virtual dinner guide - with games and conversation starters that will help family and friends use videoconferencing to reconnect during the lockdown. People can participate in the campaign by posting their COVID-19 experiences on social media using #weavingcommunity.

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