Bridging the Gaps: Healing Our Cultural, Economic, and Political Divisions. [] Lifelong Learning Program

  • 1-Bridging-the-Gaps

Event Category: Presentations/DiscussionsEvent Tags: adult, classes, and learning

  • Bridging the Gaps:
    Healing Our Cultural, Economic, and Political Divisions

    Joe Belden

    Three classes.
    Monday, January 18, Wednesday 20, and Friday 22.
    Class 1:00 – 3:00


    600 pesos

    Register HERE

    American history has had many periods of sharp, even violent, disagreement.  Think of the Vietnam War in our lifetimes, and the big one, the Civil War, as examples, as well as our raging arguments over social issues such as abortion and gun control.  The current period in the U.S. and some other countries has seen political upheaval between populists of left and right, racial and cultural resentments rising on all sides, facts disputed, and autocrats winning power.  Can these trends be reversed or moderated?  Can a better dialogue begin among all sides?  As police beating victim Rodney King said in 1992, «Can we all get along?»  Extremists at both poles may never accept each other, but can the rest of us have a dialogue, reach compromises, and feel better about each other?  This course will examine and discuss the possibilities, including reviews of efforts to have all sides hear each other.

    Joe Belden is a rural-issues writer and activist based in Washington, DC, focusing for over forty years as a bipartisan and nonpartisan advocate for rural low-income people on issues of rural poverty, affordable housing, sustainable agriculture, and others.  From 1989 until 2015 he was Deputy Executive Director of the Housing Assistance Council, a national nonprofit that supports affordable rural housing.  He also has worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and for several nonprofit organizations and think tanks.  He is the author of Housing in Rural America: Building Affordable and Inclusive Communities (Sage 1998), Dirt Rich, Dirt Poor: America’s Food and Farm Crisis (Routledge 1986), and a number of other publications.  Belden is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and the Baylor University Law School and is a member of the Texas and DC bars.

    Announcing the 2020-2021 Lifelong Learning Program Courses

    The Lifelong Learning Program at the Centro Cultural / Instituto Allende provides San Miguel de Allende residents and visitors with the opportunity of taking courses designed for self-enrichment, intellectual stimulation, and fun. Courses are designed for adult learners by skilled instructors. All program staff and instructors are volunteers in order to keep tuition as low as possible. Normally all courses take place in the Lifelong Learning Program classroom on the upper level of the Instituto, Ancha de San Antonio 22.

    We offer approximately two dozen courses from October through March. There are two to seven two-hour classes per course. For schedules and fees, which include social hour snacks after each class, or lunch in one-day courses, please see course descriptions below. The program is an excellent way to meet interesting new people and to indulge your intellectual curiosity. Now you can finally take those intriguing courses you never had time to take in school, but with no homework, exams, or grades!
    To be added to our mailing list, please contact Josephine Curtis at

    To keep all of us safe, we have made two changes while still offering you the same quality of stimulating courses as in years past.

    1. Registration will be only electronic (not in the Instituto office). 2. Some courses will be taught with Zoom.


    Electronically only, with PayPal.  

    To pay using PayPal you will need a PayPal account, a free download.  (You may already have one.) It lets you choose to pay either directly from your bank or with a credit card.

    • Before your Zoom course starts, you will receive emails from the Lifelong Learning Program with the following information:
      1. Information on how to take a Zoom course, including what to do if you run into a problem.  We are preparing special sessions to get you comfortable with Zoom.  They are optional but we strongly recommend them if you are not confident about taking a Zoom course.
      2. Course handouts.
      3. The Zoom link for the course.  There will be one link per course, regardless of the number of classes.
    • A Zoom course registration is for ONE computer screen (one email address), regardless of how many people are in front of the screen.
    • Zoom courses are limited to about 100 registrations.
    • Zoom courses are not geographically limited.  If you know someone at any location who would be interested in signing up for one of our Zoom courses, please send them the Lifelong Learning Program website URL (address) so they can register directly.
    • Only people whose names we have received from PayPal as having registered can be admitted into a Zoom course.


    If WE are forced to cancel a course, unfortunately the Instituto cannot make refunds but you will be entitled to a substitute course at any price within one year. Alternatively, the course fee can be donated to the Lifelong Learning Program as a contribution. Please contact the Instituto administrator, Zara Fernández at If YOU are forced to cancel a course that you have registered for, you can request a certificate for a substitute course of equal or lesser value. Alternatively, this certificate may be used by you or by someone else within one calendar year for another course, or it may be donated to the Lifelong Learning Program as a contribution. Please contact the Instituto administrator, Zara Fernández at


    Registration for winter courses — January through March — will begin on December 1.  Everyone on our mailing list will receive a reminder in November.  If you are not on our list and would like to be, please send a request to our director of student relations, Josephine Curtis, at, to be added.


    All 2020-2021 registrations, for both Zoom and in-person courses, will close two business days before the first class.  Please register early — especially important for the courses we now think will be in person since the capacity of our classroom may be reduced due to Covid-19 restrictions.

    Please email Jo Sanders, the Lifelong Learning Program director, at
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