One Boro, also known as Statesboro's Commission on Diversity and Inclusion, will hold the last two of its recently announced listening sessions Saturday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the main building at the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fairgrounds.
Altogether about 80 people have participated in the previous five sessions, said One Boro chair April M. Schueths, Ph.D. These were held at a variety of locations around Statesboro. The best-attended was the session April 14 in the Nessmith-Lane Conference Center on the Georgia Southern campus. About 30 people participated in that evening's discussions, as seven groups of four or five people each, including university students and people from the local community.
"We're in the process of compiling the responses from the Listening Sessions. We're looking for common themes, including strengths and growth areas, to bring to our local government officials," Schueths said in an email Thursday. "Our goal is to become even more responsive to the needs and hopes of our community."
Members of One Boro, an advisory commission to Statesboro's mayor and City Council, trained in the facilitated group listening process, meant to encourage people to listen to each other regardless of whether they agree.
Concerns voiced have ranged from desires for better housing, job opportunities and child care to simply wanting city and county officials to listen.
Saturday's will be the last sessions for now, but not the last ever, Schueths indicated.
"We are definitely planning more Listening Sessions for the future and are already talking about ways to include a larger number of people from a cross-section of the community," she wrote. "We're just getting started."