Forums to foster dialogue on abuse, focus on taking action in wake of Sandusky scandal

Since the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal rocked the community in 2011, an extreme heightened awareness of sexual crimes against children and efforts focusing on prevention have been pronounced in Centre County.

The Centre County faith community is continuing that dialogue starting next week, when a series of World Cafe-style forums kicks off to discuss the issue.

The forums, which are free and open to all community members, will focus on developing strategies for taking action against child sexual abuse, according to a news release from event organizers.

World Cafe forums focus on having people break off into small groups and gather around cafe-style tables to discuss topics of interest and importance to the participants. After a period of time, the participants change tables, mixing with other participants and beginning discussions with them.

The facilitator for the events is Marilyn Anderson, a World Cafe Process trainer and educator from Sarasota, Fla. Childcare is available at some of the locations.

Several churches in the area have agreed to host the community cafes, which are:

•  Jan. 19 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Centre County, 780 Waupelini Drive Extension in State College.

•  Jan. 20 from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the University Mennonite Church, 1606 Norma St., State College.

•  Jan. 21 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at State College Presbyterian Church, 132 W. Beaver Ave., State College.

To RSVP, log onto www.tinyurl.com/communitycafe or email Emily DeVivo at edevivo5222@gmail.com or call 814-692-9815.